By Eric Pera
June 18, 2016
SELF was featured in this publication where they helped a family in need of a new air-conditioner. To read the full story, click here.
Here is an excerpt,
DAVENPORT – May 31, 2015, was a day of celebration for Stephanie Wieneke.
Recently divorced and raising a child, she signed closing documents on a new home in Davenport, taking advantage of a federal loan program with no down payment required. Constructed in 2000, the modest-sized home was a dream come true, Wieneke said, except for one glaring problem – the central heating and cooling system was insufficient in size. As the weather warmed, her monthly electric bills started to climb, topping out at slightly more than $300.
Additionally, the home was uncomfortably warm, she said.
“It (the air-conditioner) constantly ran, it just didn’t work, it was too small. And I didn’t have a lot of money to replace it.“Stephanie Wieneke
This summer, Wieneke and her 12-year-old daughter, Sarah Norman, are breathing easy, thanks to a little-known program called the Solar and Energy Loan Fund that provides low-interest loans for energy-efficiency upgrades and other home improvements.
The nonprofit lender based in Fort Pierce has expanded to serve 17 counties, including Polk. Over its five-year history the fund has awarded more than $4.5 million to 530 households headed primarily by women, young adults, immigrants and veterans who are struggling financially, said Doug Coward, the fund’s founder and executive director.