Letting Our Light Shine More Efficiently

 

Applying for a Loan


The process of applying for a loan from the synod’s Energy Revolving Loan Fund is relatively simple, but there are certain requirements that have been established to assure quality results from the program:

1. The congregation must have its facilities audited by a qualified, professional energy auditor. While the synod does not insist on any particular professional for this purpose, the Environmental Concerns Working Group is making its outreach coordinator, Mike Stanch, available for this purpose. However, it is up to the congregation to pay for the cost of the audit. A good audit in most churches will cost in the range of $500 to $2,000, depending on the complexity of the lighting retrofit project.

2. Once the audit has been completed, it is up to the congregation to decide what projects it wishes to complete and to apply for a loan on the basis of the expected cost of those projects. Repayment of the loan will be based on the average amount of monthly savings projected in the audit for the specific actions contemplated. For instance, if the audit projects that the congregation would save $100 in monthly electricity costs in the process of implementing $3,000 worth of identified potential improvements, the loan agreement would then specify that the congregation would repay at that rate until the loan was completely repaid. After that, the congregation would simply enjoy $100 in monthly savings.

3. The cost of the audit may be rolled into the total amount of the loan if the congregation so desires, with the proviso that the congregation must proceed with the project. As a result of changes in state regulatory policy that have made rebates from utility companies widely available for permanent conservation improvements, the synod now requires that such rebates be used to pay down the loan balance. However, the synod’s Environmental Concerns Working Group will work with congregations on the applications to secure such rebates.

4. Before the loan is made, both the congregation and the synod’s Environmental Concerns Working Group will sign a loan agreement specifying the amount of the loan and the amount of monthly repayments. Once this is completed, the synod treasurer will issue a check from the loan fund to the borrowing congregation.

5. When repayment is completed, the synod asks only that the congregation consider a special collection or donation to the loan fund to assist in building the loan fund for the benefit of future congregations.

For more information about the loan program, or for a presentation by the Environmental Concerns Working Group outreach coordinator, contact either Ken Westlake  or Mike Stanch.
 

 
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