Friday, September 21, 2012

Low-interest loan opportunity available for CEC participants

Making energy efficiency easy and affordable is the mission of the Community Energy Challenge (CEC). By providing local homes and businesses with a One-Stop-Shop for energy assessments, personalized recommendations, energy advisors, vetted local contractors, quality assurance, and financial incentives, the CEC has helped over 400 homes and 200 businesses in Whatcom County save energy and money. Thanks to a public/private partnership between Banner Bank, Whatcom County and the Cities of Bellingham and Ferndale, one of the most innovative tools the CEC offers is a first-of its-kind low interest rate loan program for participants.

Loans for qualifying energy efficiency projects are offered at discounted interest rates by Banner Bank thanks to an interest rate buy down. This opportunity is available exclusively to households that have had an energy assessment from the CEC.

The goal is to lend participants the amount required to cover the cost of projects, and for which the cash savings achieved through efficiency improvements is sufficient to cover the loan payments. To date, loans have been utilized by CEC participants for 124 projects for everything from new furnaces to windows to solar arrays.

“At Banner Bank, our vision is to be the best provider of financial services in the northwest. We’re honored to be a part of innovative solutions that contribute to both our natural resource preservation and improvements of our built environment.  When people work together extraordinary things can happen,” said Cheryl Fischer, North Sound Retail Division Manager of Banner Bank.

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