When a local energy company conducted an audit on Tim Aguero and Luce Cousineau’s home, the couple learned that their energy consumption was 14 percent higher than the Seattle average. With so much daily activity in their house, Tim and Luce, who work at home and have two small children, realized they needed a cleaner and less expensive heat source.
A $15,000 low-interest loan from Craft3, a CDFI based in the Pacific Northwest, enabled Tim and Luce to complete an energy upgrade. After doing so, the couple decreased their annual energy consumption by 59 percent—and they expect to reduce heating costs by more than $1,300 a year.
Craft3’s Energy Efficiency Loan Product helps homeowners, like Tim and Luce, overcome the financial hurdles associated with implementing energy efficiency improvements. These improvements can drastically cut monthly energy expenses, making homeownership much more affordable. In addition to helping homeowners, the program provides jobs for local energy contractors—and it helps reduce carbon emissions, protecting the environment for future generations.
In 2010, this visionary approach to strengthening economic, ecological, and family resilience earned Craft3 a $2.75 million Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance. The Award enabled the CDFI to expand its energy efficiency loan program into more communities across Washington and Oregon, and into more homes.
“Craft3 has been at the forefront of expanding the clean energy economy to include low-income communities, which have historically been excluded,” said John Berdes, President and CEO of Craft3. “The NEXT Award for our energy-efficiency program validated our efforts; Moreover, since receiving the Award, we’ve been able to provide more than $32 million in loans to help homeowners like Tim and Luce.”
(Date of loan: 2010. Date of story publication: 2017)