In 2020, BII made a loan to the Nonprofit CDFI Capital Good Fund to bring immigration loans to Massachusetts and to increase the number of energy-efficiency loans for homeowners. In September 2023, Capital Good Fund expanded its impact in Georgia.
Georgia is one of the top five states in the country with the highest low-income energy burden. Despite dramatic decreases in the cost of clean energy, solar options remain out of reach for most low-and-moderate income (LMI) families. Capital Good Fund has launched the pilot of their innovative Georgia BRIGHT (Building, Renewables, Investing in Green, Healthy, Thriving Communities) solar leasing program to expand solar access. More than 200 homeowners making less than $100,000 a year will be able to lease solar systems that Capital Good Fund owns and maintains. The average family stands to save 20% on energy costs a month. To qualify, homeowners must have a roof in good condition and meet certain income requirements, with no minimum credit score required.
The Georgia BRIGHT Solar leasing program will be available to Georgia families living in Metro Atlanta, Greater Savannah, Fulton County, Athens, and Dekalb County. “Georgia BRIGHT is a discount solar lease program that saves LMI homeowners money starting day one,” says Capital Good Fund Chief Business Officer Aisha Bussey. “Because it is a lease program, there is no upfront cost and families do not pay to install or maintain the panels.” This program is possible because the Inflation Reduction Act allows nonprofits to use tax credits to reduce the cost of solar panels for low to moderate-income homeowners. Grant and other financial support has also been secured from various organizations, including $1 million from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to aid in the set up of the program.