The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU) is now taking savings account deposits and making clean energy loans. CECU received its federal charter from the National Credit Union Administration in September 2017, and completed a soft launch in May, during which it beta-tested its online banking services.
CECU is an online-only financial institution that focuses exclusively on providing loans for clean energy products and services such as solar electric systems, plug-in vehicles, home energy efficiency retrofits and net-zero energy homes. It will initially offer savings accounts, CDs and clean energy loans. Starting in 2019, it plans to offer checking accounts, debit and credit cards, and home mortgages.
Added CEO Terri Mickelsen, “When you open a savings account with us, you’ll know that your deposits are used solely to help others afford their clean energy projects. We make those projects more affordable by offering some of the best loan terms in the market.”
CECU will function exclusively online, with no brick-and-mortar branches, and the savings on overhead will be passed through to credit union members. As Mickelsen explains, “Our prospective members are largely tech-savvy and comfortable with online transactions, and we believe that they’ll benefit from lower interest rates on their clean energy loans more than they would from the availability of branch offices.”
As a not-for-profit, tax-exempt cooperative, CECU is owned by its members. “At one point, we explored the possibility of starting a clean energy bank,” said Jones. “Instead, we chose to start a credit union because we wanted our top priority to be serving members and fulfilling our mission instead of maximizing financial return for bank stockholders.”
Source: Clean Energy Credit Union