Clean Energy Credit Union recently launched its Clean Energy for All loan program. This initiative aims to make clean energy more accessible and affordable for underserved communities, including minority borrowers and low-income individuals.
The Clean Energy for All loan program is technically comprised of a Special Purpose Credit Program that offers discounted interest rates on clean energy loans to minority and low-income borrowers. The program offers a 0.50% discount off Clean Energy Credit Union’s standard loan rates and an additional discount for those facing credit challenges.
Racial disparities have entrenched themselves in the housing and auto loan industry, making it difficult for some people to afford home improvement and auto purchases. Additionally, the Urban Institute reported that only 67% of active lenders were originating loans to Black, Indigenous and other people of color, and the loan denial rate for minorities was 39%, compared to 31% of all home improvement loans. This program will increase access to affordable credit in the clean energy space to borrowers who otherwise may lack access to financing, to borrowers who are most impacted by environmental harms and injustice, and to the people of color and communities of color that have faced disparate and racist restrictions on their access to capital and credit for too long.
“Providing access to affordable clean energy can help improve the health, safety and energy resilience in communities that have long been disproportionately affected by greater air pollution and weather-related disasters,” said CEO Terri Mickelsen. “The Clean Energy for All Program will help underserved communities afford energy-saving, home and transportation upgrades, saving individuals money on utilities bills and creating a cleaner environment. Opening the door to more equity, economic mobility, and opportunities for those impacted by credit or income challenges due to systemic racism or other injustices.”
Clean Energy Credit Union is collaborating with mission-aligned, field-of-membership partners, including EV Hybrid Noire, which educates and advocates for EVs and e-mobility solutions in underserved communities, and Inclusiv, which helps low- to moderate-income people achieve financial independence through credit union advocacy work.
“We are committed to building a more equitable and sustainable future,” said Terri Mickelsen. “The Clean Energy for All Loan Program is just one step in that direction.”
News item from CECU