The NCUA has approved a field of membership for the proposed new Green Energy Federal Credit Union, its organizer and sponsor said.
The initial FOM will be a number of businesses and organizations involved in residential and commercial energy renewal and efficiency improvements, said AFC First Financial.
The company said it is a provider of energy lending and rebate programs and manages a network of more than 3,000 approved contractors who work in selling, installing and servicing high-efficiency HVAC, weatherization and other improvements.
AFC First Financial said it also is seeking designation as a low-income credit union and Community Development Financial Institution, as well as an FOM that would include an underserved area of approximately 100,000 people in the area around its hometown of Allentown, Pa.
Green Energy FCU organizer W. Robert Hall, a Virginia-based consultant, authored a Filene Research Institute study titled Finding Sustainable Profits: Green Lending in Credit Unions that found more credit unions are offering loans for energy improvements. Hall said the new credit union also aims to serve that need with affordable financing.
“Research has found that the average low-income household spends as much as 20% of total monthly income on energy costs,” Hall said. “Lowering these costs can play an important part in a broader effort to build wealth and economic opportunity in these households and communities.”
Peter Krajsai, AFC First’s chairman/CEO, said, “Many of the companies and their employees in our contractor network have expressed a strong interest in having access to a credit union that understands their financial services needs and that shares their commitment to helping people and businesses save money by lowering their energy costs and supporting the adoption of clean energy alternatives.”
John Hayes, the company’s president and chief operating officer, added, “We also work with a number of nonprofit organizations whose members have said they would like to be able to have the money in their personal checking and savings accounts support the adoption of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in both the residential and commercial sectors.”
They said work is under way to complete the charter application by the end of 2012.