Clean Energy Credit Union’s mission is to promote clean energy, environmental stewardship, and cooperative enterprises through the financial services we provide to our members.
Clean Energy Credit Union was started by a group of inspired people passionate about promoting clean energy in order to protect our environment and improve the economy.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find affordable financing when purchasing a clean energy product or service. While many financing options are more expensive than they should be, partly because clean energy is relatively new and unfamiliar, we wanted to change that.
Instead of starting a “green bank”, we chose to take an innovative and cooperative approach — so we established ourselves as a credit union. We believed this structure would help spread and create the multiple benefits of using clean energy and as a result, improve the planet.
We are committed to making it easier for everyone to use and invest in clean energy to help protect our planet today and tomorrow.
Our Promise to You
Clean Energy Investment
We make investing in clean energy easy and accessible – whether its $5 or $5,000, each dollar is used to fund other’s clean energy projects.
Affordable Loan Options
We accelerate the adoption of clean energy by offering customized loans that are specifically tailored to clean energy products and services.
Our Impact on the Planet
Our dedication to a cleaner planet is in our DNA, and we take action to make a positive impact across the world. To date, we’ve financed over 10,000 clean energy loans and helped offset nearly 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Mitigate climate change
Reduce pollution and improve public health
Create jobs and build community wealth
Promote democratic organizations
Improve national security and increase energy independence
Promote personal financial independence
We feel it is upon this generation of parents to bring down the carbon footprint. One of the ways that a middle class family can engage in the process is to generate power through effective and efficient solar panels. While it gives us a chance to save money in the long run, it also satisfies our moral obligation towards the future generations! Go Clean! Go Green! Save Mother Nature.
How Do We Define Clean Energy?
We define clean energy as any product, technology, or service that…
- Utilizes renewable energy
- Reduces energy consumption
- Improves energy efficiency
- Increases energy consciousness
- Reduces pollution, greenhouse gases, water usage, and/or toxic waste.
Clean Energy Projects We Finance
- Solar PV systems
- Electric vehicles
- Air-source heat pumps
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Electric bicycles
- And more…
Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers.
First, you need to ensure that you’re eligible to join Clean Energy Credit Union by being in its “field of membership,” which currently includes being one of the following:
- A member of one of the following organizations:
- African-American Credit Union Coalition
- American Solar Energy Society
- Association of Energy Service Professionals
- Colorado Renewable Energy Society
- Electric Auto Association
- Engineers for a Sustainable World
- Georgia Solar Energy Association
- Green America
- GreenHome Institute
- Illinois Solar Energy Association
- Midwest Renewable Energy Association
- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
- Polar Bear Sustainable Energy Co-op
- RENEW Wisconsin
- Renewable Energy Owners Coalition of America
- Solar United Neighbors
- Texas Solar Energy Society
- Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy
- An employee or volunteer of one of the following organizations:
- A member of the immediate family or household of someone who is eligible via one of the above options or of someone who is already a member of Clean Energy Credit Union
If you’re not already eligible to join Clean Energy Credit Union, you can consider joining one of the above organizations. An individual membership in American Solar Energy Society, for example, currently costs as little as $10 (NOTE: you must enter the discount code and select a Digital-Only Basic membership). Click here to learn more about the field of membership partner organizations listed above.
After confirming your eligibility, you would then open a “share account” (i.e. savings account) with a $5 minimum deposit which would serve as your ownership share in Clean Energy Credit Union. Once someone becomes a member of the Credit Union, they are a member for life. Click here to join Clean Energy Credit Union.
In case it helps, here’s some background on what a credit union “field of membership” is: although credit unions provide similar services as banks, they are different from banks in many ways. For example, a credit union is a not-for-profit, financial services cooperative that exists solely to serve its members and to fulfill its mission, whereas a bank exists to maximize financial returns for its stockholders. Another difference is that a bank can serve the general public whereas a credit union can only serve its “field of membership,” which is defined by regulators as the people and entities that are legally eligible to join the credit union. Ultimately, a credit union’s field of membership is comprised of one or more groups of people and entities that all have something in common that binds them together in some way. Many credit unions have a field of membership that includes people who work for a certain employer, or who live in a certain geographic area, or who are members of the same professional association or religious organization.
Yes, you can “invest” in Clean Energy Credit Union by either making a checking, savings, or money market account deposit or by purchasing a “clean energy CD.” Any such deposits or CDs are insured by the federal government up to $250k per person or per organization. The Credit Union does not have “owners” or “investors” in the same way that a for-profit bank would. Instead, the Credit Union is democratically owned by all of its members. Members then elect the Credit Union’s volunteer Board of Directors on a one-vote-per-member basis and earn “dividends” or interest on their deposits.
In addition, the federal government requires that all banks and credit unions be capitalized with $1 in “net worth” or “net assets” for every $14 that they can accept in federally insured deposits. As 501(c)(1) not-for-profit organizations, federally chartered credit unions like ours can only build their net worth or net assets in two ways: (1) via retained earnings (i.e. profit); and (2) via donations from supporters. Making a donation to a credit union is very similar to making a donation to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In the first few years, we intend to raise over $5M in donations and accept $50M in deposits. Click here if you’d like to make a donation.
First, please consider joining the Credit Union and making a deposit via a checking account, savings account, money market account, CD, and/or IRA. Your money will only be used to provide clean energy loans to other members, and we need all of the deposits we can get in order to continue meeting our ever-growing loan demand. Your deposits will be federally insured (up to $250k per person or organization), promote clean energy, and protect the environment. You’ll also be able to easily transfer funds between your accounts in Clean Energy Credit Union and your other financial institution via a free ACH transfer on your computer or mobile device. Learn more about ACH transfers. Join Clean Energy Credit Union.
Second, please consider applying for a loan for a clean energy product or service. Learn more about our loan products.
Lastly, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the Credit Union’s growth via our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). Learn more about ASES. While Clean Energy Credit Union is a self-sustaining 501(c)(1) organization, with the help of donations, our credit union will expand its operations, positive impact, and clean energy lending faster than otherwise. Since credit unions can’t have stockholders, we therefore can’t raise money in that way. So, credit unions can only fund themselves with either donations or retained earnings (i.e. profit). Furthermore, due to federal regulations, credit unions must maintain a certain amount of capital reserves at all times. The end result of this regulation is that for every $1 in donations our credit unions receive, it allows us to accept $14 of federally insured member deposits and then lend out the combined $15 for clean energy loans. Your donation would therefore be leveraged by 14-to-1 to help us fulfill our mission, and your donation essentially becomes part of a revolving loan fund whereby we can reuse it to make clean energy loans again and again in perpetuity. Make a donation.
Clean Energy Credit Union represents a unique combination of the following:
- It’s a federally chartered credit union that:
- Is a tax-exempt 501(c)(1);
- Is democratically owned and governed by its members;
- Has no stockholders;
- Offers federally insured deposits
- It’s the only credit union that’s focused solely on clean energy lending and environmental stewardship:
- This focus is – and always will be – part of our mission and organizational DNA;
- Every dollar deposited earns interest while being used to help you and/or other members finance a clean energy product or service via clean energy loan terms that are among the best available in the market;
- We specialize in having clean energy market expertise and an ability to adapt to ongoing market dynamics;
- It’s one of the few Online/Mobile only financial institutions with:
- No brick-and-mortar branch offices;
- Lean operations and low overhead costs;
- Operational savings that are passed through to members in the form of better interest rates and terms.
Ready to Help Us Pursue Our Mission?
Start supporting the clean energy movement when you open an account, apply for a loan, or donate to support the cause.