Program Provides Low-interest Loans for Small-Scale Renewable Energy Projects

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Boston-based nonprofit New Generation Energy launches Community Lending Program to help small businesses, churches, nonprofits, and other community organizations become greener and more efficient.

New Generation Energy (NGE), a Boston-based nonprofit organization, announces the launch of its Community Lending Program (CLP) to support small-scale green energy and energy efficiency projects. The CLP provides loans from $5,000 to $100,000 for businesses and community-based organizations to install renewable energy equipment such as solar PV (photo voltaic), solar hot water heaters, and efficiency upgrade projects.

The Community Lending Program provides loans with typical interest rates of 0 - 5.0%, and with terms of 1 to 10 years depending on the nature of the project. A grant program set up by NGE can provide additional funding support to selected applicants by reducing the principal owed.

NGE is currently accepting applications for CLP loans for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and municipal organizations located in the six states of New England. There are two primary lending areas: solar equipment lending and food service efficiency lending. Solar equipment lending supports organizations interested in installing solar PV (photovoltaic) or solar thermal systems. Food service lending focuses on EnergyStar equipment loans and efficiency upgrade loans for restaurants, commissaries, grocery stores, and food processing/distributions centers.

Community Lending Program in action

In July of 2009, NGE's Community Lending Program provided a low interest loan for a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) array at the headquarters of Boston Green Building, Inc, located in Allston, MA. This project was the first commercial solar installation in the Boston neighborhood of Allston and only the third solar installation in this community overall.

NGE's loan provided $21,000, with an effective interest rate of 3.0%, used to install twenty Evergreen solar panels and associated hardware on the roof of BGB's facility. The 3.8kW system will offset 110,000 pounds of CO2 over the life of the system, and provides 90% of the company's on-site energy use.

Brian Butler, Owner and Founder of Boston Green Building comments, "Without New Generation Energy, this project would not have been possible. They are one of the few organizations funding solar at this scale. We are grateful for their support".

The need for NGE's Community Lending Program
Small businesses and community organizations are engines for job creation, education, and community revitalization. In many cases these organizations are excellent candidates for lowering their costs and improving their green profile by installing renewable energy systems, or upgrading their energy efficiency.

Unfortunately, many of these same organizations struggle to obtain financing for renewable energy projects. In the example above, Boston Green Building applied to several area banks for funding, but was turned down each time. Many commercial banks, even those that provide support for emerging businesses, do not measure the full benefits of clean energy technologies such as solar, wind, biomass, and the latest efficiency techniques.

NGE's Community Lending Program uses a unique 21 point funding qualification process that measures both traditional financial factors, and non-traditional factors such as green-house gas reduction and community empowerment considerations. For example, projects that have high visibility, enhance the mission of the hosting organization, or are coupled with education programs, score higher in NGE's Community Lending Program system.

How the Community Lending Program works

Funds to support the CLP come from NGE's Renewable Energy Investment Note (REIN) program. Renewable Energy Investment Notes are simple, CD-like investments that allow socially conscious investors to directly support the creation of community-based renewable energy projects in the areas of solar, wind, efficiency, and biomass.

Projects supported by REINs are designed to utilize the most up to date clean energy technology, maximize environmental and community economic good, and minimize risk to the investor. It is important to note that REINs are not FDIC insured.

Additional funds to support the Community Lending Program come from individual donations, foundation grants, and corporate partnerships. These donated funds are used to provide grants to enhance the economics of green energy projects at charitable organizations and at businesses in low-income communities.

Chuck Lewin, Executive Director of New Generation Energy comments, "NGE lives by the motto, Investing to make communities greener. This not only means providing socially conscious investors with an investment that helps the US be more energy independent, it means an investment that empowers communities by providing jobs, improving health, and enhancing the environment."

Contact information for Community Lending Program:
For more information on the Community Lending Program, and to download complete application forms, interested parties can view the NGE website at:, call NGE at (617) 624 3688, or email:

More information on New Generation Energy
New Generation Energy is a Boston-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to make America's communities greener, healthier, and more economically vital through the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

For more information on New Generation Energy visit our website at, contact us at 617 624 3688.


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