Craft3 receives $5.5 million from Bank of America to finance energy efficient building retrofits

By: Craft3 Marketing - Jan 03, 2012

Craft3 today announced that it has received a $5.5 million low-cost loan and operating grant from Bank of America to expand its residential and small business energy efficiency financing programs in Seattle and Portland.

We are so pleased to receive this loan and honored to be part of this collaboration, which aligns with our  goals to strengthen the economic, ecological, and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities,” said John Berdes, Craft3 President. “In addition to helping individuals and businesses make affordable energy upgrades, Bank of America’s investment in Craft3 will directly impact the community by creating opportunities for green-collar jobs, and employment opportunities for minorities and women.

Craft3 is one of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) selected to participate in Bank of America’s $55 million Energy Efficiency Finance Program announced last spring. The program will enable CDFIs to finance the upfront investment costs for building owners in low-income communities, bringing to scale innovative, local programs, providing energy efficient retrofits or improvements to buildings, contributing to local job creation and reducing overall energy usage.  It also will reduce the carbon emissions from these residential and commercial buildings, which account for nearly 40 percent of all primary energy consumption in the United States.  The energy cost savings realized over time will create cash flow to repay the loan.

Older properties consume far more energy and typically have higher utility costs than newer buildings, but they make up a significant portion of our real estate inventory,” said Bob Peters, Washington market president, Bank of America. “We recognize Craft3 for developing innovative solutions to address barriers that have kept many property owners from financing important energy efficiency upgrades that will help save energy and money, as well as create jobs in low-income communities and reduce carbon emissions as these retrofits get underway.”

Craft3 delivers loans in partnership with City of Seattle’s Community Power Works Program and Clean Energy Works Oregon that provides energy efficiency solutions, incentives, and financing to homes in twenty-four Seattle and select Portland neighborhoods to foster home energy efficiency upgrades. EC offers affordable loans to homeowners and small business owners to finance 100% of their energy upgrade with no money down. These loans are unique in that they are repaid conveniently through the homeowner’s energy bill; there are no extra bills to pay.

This investment from the Bank of America will support and strengthen Community Power Works with much needed capital for energy efficiency loans for homes and small businesses," noted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Energy Efficiency Loans were designed to ensure people are not ‘priced out’ of making energy retrofits to their homes. EC developed customer-friendly qualification methods to lend to people and business who might not otherwise qualify for a traditional loan.  By enabling more people to afford energy efficiency, the program also creates more jobs for contractors.

In partnership with the City of Seattle, Office of Economic development, Enterprise recently added the Energy Efficiency Loan for Small Business, which offers affordable loans to eligible business to cover 100% of energy efficiency upgrades. With an energy upgrade, businesses city wide can take advantage of substantial utility rebates, upgrade old equipment, reduce operating costs, and create a comfortable, attractive customer environment. In both the commercial and residential sectors, Craft3 will also leverage Bank of America funds to help small energy efficiency contractors in Seattle and Portland grow their businesses.

One Beacon Hill homeowner made $10,600 worth of improvements and received $2,000 in rebates said “I didn’t have to come up with nine-thousand bucks or finance my upgrade through my bank. Those things and having the pay-back option on my power bill where it’s really convenient couldn’t be better.”

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