Global warming doesn’t have one solution that will rectify the whole situation. The primary cause is the existence of too much methane, Carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide, that are heat trapping and affect the atmosphere. There are various approaches and different technologies that are needed to bring down the emissions of the gases by not
Global warming doesn’t have one solution that will rectify the whole situation. The primary cause is the existence of too much methane, Carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide, that are heat trapping and affect the atmosphere. There are various approaches and different technologies that are needed to bring down the emissions of the gases by not less than 80%, by 2050. Various methods are being deployed around the world and boosting energy efficiency is one of them.
The energy that is used to heat, cool and power our businesses, homes, and industries is one of the largest global warming contributors. With this knowledge, the world today is striving to get energy efficient technologies and practices that allow us to use fewer amounts of energy and get higher, or same, standards of comfort, service, and production. It is with this approach that SELF was inspired.
What is SELF?
Florida- based Solar and Energy Loan Fund is a non-profit organization. Its primary mission is to supply expertise in the energy department and offer to finance to underprivileged communities, residents and small businesses with the intention of creating sustainable community development, economic development opportunities, creating jobs locally, enhance the quality of life, energy independence, clean energy alternatives, and greater efficiencies.
SELF equips property owners with the much-needed skill, expertise, and financing, to help them recognize and make cost-efficient home energy retrofits such as renewable energy alternatives, energy conservation and energy efficiency. SELF clients benefit greatly from reduced power consumption. They, in turn, use their energy savings to assist them in paying back the SELF loans over time. Tax Credits and Rebates may apply as well to the numerous energy saving products financed through SELF.
Brief history of SELF
SELF was created in 2010, and ever since, it has enabled over 600 homeowners to upgrade their homes while lowering their energy costs at an affordable price. St Lucie County, Florida received $2.9 million worth of seed funding in that year as a DOE Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Grantee. It is after, that St. Lucie established SELF. It attracted additional capital by leveraging that investment including foundations, mission-driven investments from community banks, faith-based organizations, impact investors and crowd funding.
How does SELF Work?
An all-inclusive energy assessment is performed at your business or in your home through the program. The process is necessary to assist in identifying clean energy technologies and best practices that will give you as a client the greatest amount of savings and an efficient return on investment for your property.
Our finance and energy experts work hand in hand with you to fund the most economical energy investments through low interest rates, no-money-down loans. Additionally, the program provides a selection of contractors from an approved SELF Contractor list to finish the job. This low-interest rate program was put up to reduce your energy bills and give you access to clean energy solutions.
What about PACE?
PACE is a Property Assessed Clean Energy program from St. Lucie County. It’s available to all eligible industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural and non-profit property owners. It’s an alternative financing program that is made available to assist St Lucie County homeowners in making improvements to facilities and building. Such improvements include:
- Renewable energy alternatives
- Energy efficiency
- Wind Hazard mitigation projects
PACE is an equity secured program in the subject property. You pay back voluntary assessments over time on the property tax bill.
How to apply for SELF
If interested in applying for SELF, you have to follow five simple steps:
You, as the property owner, being the primary applicant, should completely fill out the Loan Application packet. There is a required document submission checklist that has to be followed and loan application fee of $25. The primary qualifications that determine your approval and consideration for the loan are; home ownership, steady income, creditworthiness and proof of ability to repay the loan. It is important to submit as much income information as possible in the application so that the underwriter can make a sound decision. Either the Loan Underwriting Department is assigned a Loan Officer/Program Manager who will contact you in case more information is required.
- Submit your information.
- Upon application approval, the home may be required to receive an energy assessment based on the type of installation. The Loan Program Manager or Loan Officer will notify you to discuss the next steps, financing options, project management and the best possible solutions to ensure energy savings.
- You as a property owner will ask for quotes and obtain them from the approved SELF Contractor list. It is a recommendation to receive quotes from more than one contractor on the list. SELF only provides financing for improvements that are completed by SELF’s list of approved contractors.
- After finally settling on a contractor, you should contact the Loan Officer or the Loan Program Manager to schedule a loan closing appointment or a final consultation. The loan is then closed for the quote amount minus utility cash rebates. After that, SELF issues an official letter to the contractor(s) to continue with the improvements.
- SELF will acquire the final paperwork from the contractor upon completion of the improvements. SELF will then proceed with the issuing of payments to the contractors as long as the improvements are satisfactory to their standards.
An energy assessment is vital because it brings knowledge that will allow you to pinpoint the energy saving improvements that are the most cost-effective and best fit your home. All SELF clients are encouraged to get the energy assessment done and sometimes, it is mandatory. To gain more information on the energy auditors, fees associated and the different levels of energy assessments, please contact SELF.
The assessment fee may be included in the SELF loan once approved, and a loan is closed.
- Martin County homeowners in Martin County get free energy assessments with HERS ratings. If interested in this option, kindly contact 772-468-1818
- The City of Stuart homeowners in the City of Stuart receiver free BPI energy assessments. Kindly contact 772-468-1818 regarding this option.
SELF energy auditors
Here is a list of the SELF energy auditors:
- VESCO, Inc. – Carey Reddick. He is a local Veteran who provides a home analysis and an in-depth onsite inspection as well as recommending of energy-saving products. He provides two types of Energy Assessments; BPI-Building Performance Institute Energy Assessment and the general clipboard assessment. You may foot the cost of the Energy Assessment in full, or it could be rolled into the SELF loan if approved, and the loan is closed.
- Bluestream Energy – Lewis Zemanian. He provides an all-inclusive onsite inspection of the home and conducts an analysis of it as well as recommending energy-saving products. He provides three different Energy Assessment types; the BPI-Building Performance Institute Energy Assessment, general clipboard assessment, and an Energy Assessment done with the Home Energy Rating Services (HERS) index. You may foot the cost of the Energy Assessment in full, or it could be rolled into the SELF loan, if approved and the loan is closed.
- All Elements – Gary Carmack. He provides an all-inclusive on-site inspection of the home and conducts an analysis of it as well as recommending energy-saving products. He provides three different Energy Assessment types; general clipboard assessment and two levels of the BPI-Building Performance Institute Energy Assessment. You may foot the cost of the Energy Assessment in full or it could be rolled into the SELF loan if approved and the loan is closed.
Here is a product list of Eligible Projects Financed by SELF
1. Window & Storm Mitigation:
- Dry Wall Repair
- Water Barriers: Roof Soffit Vent Sealing, Flashing
- Doors and Garage Doors
- Impact Windows
- Hurricane Clips/Straps and Roof Anchors
- Roof Repair and Reinforcement, Hail Protection
- Building Envelope
- Hurricane Shutters and Fasteners
2. Energy Efficiency:
- Water Heaters: Tank, Tankless & Instant
- Air Conditioning Units
- Duct Sealing
- Window Tinting
- Weatherization Package: Weather Strips, Sealing and Caulking.
- Indoor/Outdoor Lighting
- Pool Pumps & Motors
3. Indoor/Outdoor Water:
- Low Flow Toilets/Showerheads/Aerators
- Rain Water Barrel/Cisterns and Reclamation
- Irrigation Package: Timers, Sprinkler Heads, Soil Moisture Sensors, Drip Irrigation and Irrigation Controller.
4. Roofing and Roof Repairs
- Garage Doors
- Doors/Door Frames
5. Solar Energy:
- Solar Attic Fans
- Solar Water Heaters
- Solar PV Panels
- Solar Pool Pumps & Pool Heaters
SELF is changing the world we live in one energy improvement at a time. The drive to create a positive economic, environmental and social change has impacted many communities and individuals, and will continue to do so. People’s health, safety and even the quality of life in their homes have drastically changed the process, yet is relatively affordable considering the cost of savings they will gain in the long run, not to mention the effect it will have on the environment and the atmosphere’s carbon footprint.
If you would like to apply for a SELF Loan, click here.