Bank of America today announced the selection of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that will receive $55 million in low-interest loans and grants through the company’s innovative Energy Efficiency Finance Program.
Bank of America, the nation’s largest investor in CDFIs and a leading source of energy-efficiency-sector financing, created the program earlier this year to deliver low-cost capital to local community lenders with expertise in energy retrofit financing as a way to help create jobs, improve affordability and reduce carbon emissions.
The following participating CDFIs were selected through a competitive submission process by a committee comprised of bank and industry leaders:
- Boston Community Capital, Boston
- Community Investment Company, Chicago
- Enterprise Cascadia, Seattle
- Enterprise Community Partners, nationwide
- Grow America Fund, New York
- IFF (formerly Illinois Facility Fund), Chicago
- Low Income Investment Fund, San Francisco and Los Angeles
- Self Help, Charlotte
- The Reinvestment Fund, Baltimore and Philadelphia
“Bank of America engages with CDFIs to develop creative and effective approaches to addressing the critical issues of energy efficiency and serving the needs of low-income communities,” said Andrew Plepler, Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Policy executive at Bank of America. “Our size allows us to deliver funding on a scale that can transform an industry while making a direct impact on energy consumption, local jobs, carbon emissions and affordability for people who own, live and work in older buildings. We congratulate all the recipients and look forward to working with them.”
The selected CDFIs will receive a total of $50 million in low-cost, long-term loans to finance the upfront investment costs that building owners need to make energy-efficient improvements, and $5 million in operating grants to support green capacity building, staffing, training, reserves, and marketing needs associated with the implementation of the programs. The energy cost savings realized over time will create cash flow to repay the loans.
“With this Energy Efficiency Finance Program, Bank of America has cracked the code in directing focus on our low-income communities so that they are not left behind in the nation’s efforts to become more energy efficient and create quality green-collar jobs,” said Mark Pinsky, president and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, building improvements could save households and businesses an estimated $100 million annually in utility bills, while creating about 30,000 jobs across the country during the next three years. Through the Bank of America Energy Efficiency Finance Program, an estimated 15,000 residential units and dozens of commercial buildings, community facilities and charter schools will benefit from retrofits financed by the participating CDFIs. Because CDFIs deliver capital in low- and moderate-income communities, these economic benefits will be felt most in underserved areas.
In addition to creating construction and data monitoring jobs, the capital delivered through the program will help increase the affordability of occupancy while reducing overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in existing residential and commercial buildings, which account for nearly 40 percent of all primary energy consumption in the U.S. Retrofitting will include improvements to building exteriors; mechanical upgrades; new insulation, doors and windows; water conservation measures; and installation of new energy-efficient appliances.
A key differentiator for the Energy Efficiency Finance Program is the data collection, monitoring and reporting. Once CDFIs have made loans to property owners, Bank of America will work with them to collect pre- and post-retrofit data to help influence owner and occupant energy-usage behaviors and measure program outcomes, including impacts on energy and water usage and associated financial savings. EnergyScoreCards, a subsidiary of Bright Power, Inc., will be the third-party consultant for data collection and analysis, with results expected to be published in 2015.
Bank of America has demonstrated a long-term commitment to reducing carbon emissions, supporting job creation and economic development for local communities. As an environmental leader with one of the most comprehensive environmental platforms of any financial institution, the company has delivered more than $13.1 billion in four years through its environmental business initiative including lending, investments, capital markets activity, philanthropy and within its own operations. Bank of America is also the nation’s leading investor in CDFIs, with more than $1 billion invested with 120 CDFIs in 37 states.