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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student

PRESS RELEASE: City Offers Grant Funding Up to $25,000 for Solar, Energy Efficiency & Lighting

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The following is a press release by Justin Crossley for City of Bloomington. 

Bloomington, Ind.– The City of Bloomington’s Department of Economic and Sustainable Development is providing technical assistance and grant funding up to $25,000 for organizations and small businesses to improve building efficiency and install solar through the 2024 Solar, Energy Efficiency, & Lighting (SEEL) Program. Nonprofits, community organizations, and small businesses are invited to apply beginning March 28. 

Nonprofit organizations, schools, early childhood centers, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and small businesses with under 500 full-time employees that own at least one facility within city limits are eligible to participate. If an organization rents its facility, the organization is eligible to participate with permission to participate in the program from the property owner. A building owner form will be required to verify eligibility. 

Organizations completing solar projects will receive a solar feasibility assessment from the SEEL program partner, MPI Solar, and a $25,000 grant for an 8 kW minimum solar system installation or addition. Solar applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funding has been allocated. 

The energy efficiency grant track will provide matching grants of $10,000 for energy efficiency upgrades, as well as sponsor the cost of an energy assessment (valued at $3,000) to be performed by IFF. Eligible projects for energy efficiency grant funding include LED conversion or upgrades, ventilation and cooling upgrades (including HVAC), and water heater upgrades. Organizations interested in energy efficiency projects should check the website for cohort deadlines, as all applications will be closed on June 14.

Any remaining energy efficiency or solar project costs can either be covered by capital from the organization or financed through low-interest loans from IFF or Hoosier Hills Credit Union. Connections to additional financing options can be secured through CDFI Friendly Bloomington if needed. Additional rebates and tax incentives, including federal and state tax credits and incentives, are also available. 

Past participants in the SEEL program are encouraged to apply, but past solar grant recipients must have received their last grant at least 12 months prior to applying. 

More information about the program and the application form link are available at bloomington.in.gov/sustainability/seel. Questions about the program should be directed to sustain@bloomington.in.gov

The 2024 program is a collaboration among the City of Bloomington Department of Economic and Sustainable Development, MPI Solar, IFF, and Hoosier Hills Credit Union.

About MPI Solar

MPI Solar is a family-owned local business providing customized solar energy system design installation and service for homes and businesses throughout south central Indiana since 2008.

About IFF

IFF is a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institutions) and a mission-driven lender whose goal is to create opportunities for nonprofits and other community institutions such as schools, libraries, medical facilities, and grocery stores. IFF works alongside nonprofit leaders to plan, finance, and build facilities that are critical to their mission. 

About Hoosier Hills Credit Union

Hoosier Hills Credit Union is a member-owned cooperative that provides financial services for businesses, individuals, and families with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of its members and in the communities they serve.

About CDFI Friendly Bloomington

CDFI Friendly Bloomington is a nonprofit organization serving Bloomington, IN, and the Indiana Uplands region with a new strategy developed for the unique challenges of smaller communities to increase flexible and affordable financing for businesses, nonprofits, affordable housing, and community projects.

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