solar panels
iStock / Chris Kryzanek

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the City of Bloomington. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for clarity and style.

As part of Mayor John Hamilton’s Recover Forward initiative, the City of Bloomington is providing support for organizations to improve building efficiency through projects such as solar installation, appliance and lighting upgrades, and weatherization with the goals of reducing utility costs and saving energy. Through a partnership with CDFI Friendly Bloomington and the mission-driven lender IFF, the 2021 Solar and Energy Efficiency Loan (SEEL) Program will provide support through low-interest loans financed by IFF, grants from the City of Bloomington, and City-funded commercial energy audits.

Prospective funding applicants to the SEEL program are invited to learn more about the program by attending a webinar on Thursday, February 11 at 1 p.m. The Zoom link to the webinar is available by emailing one’s name and organization name to [email protected].

Funding is available to nonprofit organizations, schools and early childhood centers, libraries, medical facilities, and grocery stores within the city limits that own the building in which they operate or have permission through the property owner. Project costs may be covered through a combination of low-interest loans, grants and the organization’s own capital, with the following stipulations:

  • The minimum loan amount that may be financed through IFF is $10,000.
  • Grants from the City of Bloomington, ranging from $2,500–$10,000 per organization and not exceeding 50% of the total project costs, are available to help meet the equity requirements of IFF loans and help cover project costs. 
  • The City of Bloomington will cover the costs associated with commercial energy audits, in addition to any direct grants.

Prospective applicants are invited to complete an intake form available here. The City will ask approved applicants to indicate their intention to complete a SEEL project by signing a commitment letter, after which a qualified contractor will provide a commercial energy audit of the applicant’s facility to verify a specific list of potential modifications to improve building performance and energy savings.