The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has granted a federal charter to a new credit union based in Boulder, Colorado, called the Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU), which will serve members of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), also based in Boulder.
CECU’s mission is to promote clean energy by offering low-cost loans tailored to clean energy products and services, such as home solar electric systems and EVs. Depositors can support the growth of clean energy by investing in accounts that are federally insured and used solely to provide loans for clean energy projects.
CECU expects to begin accepting deposits and loan applications by the end of 2017. Initially, CECU will offer savings accounts, clean energy CDs, and loans for solar electric systems, clean energy vehicles, and energy efficiency home improvements. Later offerings are likely to include checking accounts, debit cards, credit cards, and a wider variety of clean energy-focused loan products.
“We envision a world where everyone can participate in the clean energy movement,” said Board Chair Blake Jones. “At one point, we explored the possibility of starting a clean energy bank. Instead, we chose to start a not-for-profit credit union, because we wanted our top priority to be serving members and fulfilling our mission instead of maximizing financial return for stockholders.”
“We took the proven business model of a credit union and applied some innovative twists to it,” said CECU CEO Terri Mickelsen. “First, CECU will focus exclusively on providing loans that help members afford to use clean energy products and services. Second, CECU won’t have any brick-and-mortar branches, but will operate solely via online and mobile banking applications. The reduced overhead will allow us to pass on the resulting savings to our members in the form of better interest rates and lower service fees.”
Source: Clean Energy Credit Union