by Alana Garrigues
This interview with the CEO of Ygrene Energy Fund was originally posted on Cali Green Turf, a subsidiary of Cali Green Life, in June 2016. Ygrene offers PACE Financing on several of the green upgrades and installs we offer here at Cali Green Life: artificial turf, solar panels and COOLWALL exterior coatings. If you are interested in water filtration systems or interior or exterior paints, we can offer alternative financing options. Ask us for details when we talk.
At Cali Green Turf, our clients know that it makes good sense to go green. Like you, they’re smart. They’re educated. They’ve studied water conservation and read up on the drought. They know that over time, an investment in turf pays off through lower water and sewer bills and low-cost maintenance.
But, they always tell us that the initial financial investment can be a challenge. We get it. We know that the cost to make the switch to can be prohibitive for homeowners and businesses, even with our competitive rates.
That’s why we are so thankful to be an approved contractor with the Ygrene Energy Fund.
What is Ygrene?
Ygrene makes it easy and painless to finance eco-friendly projects with 100% financing and no money down. They don’t refi any old home or business renovation; they make sure that every project is done with the environment in mind, matching every dollar to a better future. It’s the kind of purpose-driven business that we really dig at Cali Green Turf.
“When we started Ygrene, Dennis Hunter (Ygrene’s founder and chairman) asked the environmental community what they needed to combat climate change,” said Ygrene CEO Stacey Lawson (photo at right). “The answer was financing-scale resources to allow property owners to upgrade their homes and businesses with clean energy, water conservation, and climate resilient improvements.”
The company and its employees are fully committed to doing all they can to green the earth. It’s what drives them, day in and day out, to help.
“Ygrene’s employees are exceedingly passionate about empowering individuals to create a safer and healthier environment for their families and communities,” Lawson said. “Our people-first approach works with contractors and property owners to help stimulate local economies while improving property values and removing harmful emissions from the atmosphere. Many of our employees come from a deep financial background and are marrying their expertise with their passions to generate social good.”
That last part warrants a repeat: marrying expertise with passions to generate social good. Yes! We couldn’t agree more. Pure music to our ears.
Ygrene’s Payment Process Based On Quality And Completion
Ygrene carefully vets all contractors they work with to ensure the utmost quality and high standards of service. Once a project is approved, the contractor doesn’t get paid until the job is done up to the client’s standards. Then Ygrene pays the contractor directly. That means you don’t have to worry about depositing funds, waiting for a hold to clear on funds. You don’t have to write a check at all!
“Ygrene leads the industry when it comes to safe, transparent PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing with the highest level of consumer protections,” Lawson said. “From application through approval, construction, project completion and funding, Ygrene’s Customer Protection Policy ensures consumers are supported every step of the way through our complete set of contractor certification, underwriting, consumer disclosure, data security and senior protection processes.”
We get paid once we’ve done the job well, directly through Ygrene. Easy peasy.
Growth and a So Cal Expansion
Ygrene financing is available in most of the cities that we serve (e.g. El Segundo, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills and Torrance), but not all. They’re working closely with municipalities to provide service to all homeowners in the area, and they’re growing fast. Not only locally, but throughout the country.
“Because PACE is a new concept to many of the communities, we are deeply involved in the municipal discussions and government processes required to make PACE an affordable, accessible financing option for cities and counties,” said Lawson. “We’re continuously working with stakeholders in Southern California and across the country to expand our program into new territories. We’ve seen a 195% increase in adoption rates over the last year and expect to continue experiencing significant growth as more communities are educated about the benefits of PACE financing.”
To that end, Ygrene is educating cities and communities on how PACE works, and what they’re doing to make it available for residential, commercial and multi-family customers. They take care of all associated set-up and launch costs.
In this age of environmental responsibility, water conservation and measuring carbon footprints, cities know that what’s good for the resident or business owner is good for meeting their own eco-leadership goals. It’s a win-win situation.
“Traditionally, high upfront costs have dissuaded property owners from investing in vital improvements that could save both dollars and resources,” said Lawson. “PACE provides a fundamental improvement in the way that homeowners and businesses can finance energy efficiency retrofits, climate-resilient infrastructure, water conservation, and renewable energy installations, and offer a ‘Pay it Forward’ model that eliminates the initial cash outlay for upgrades.”
According to Lawson, Ygrene saw an 800 percent increase in application volume over the last year from the 245+ communities they serve across the nation. They’ve raised more than $785 million in capital and are in the midst of a national expansion.
To date, they’ve approved more than $1 billion in applications for over 21,000 buildings and has completed $437 million in contracts. What does that mean in terms of economic stimulus and positive impact on our nation’s natural resources? Check it out:
How Does it Work? How Can I Obtain Financing?
We asked Ygrene to tell us exactly what property owners can expect when they reach out to finance a green renovation.
What is the process for securing a residential loan?
- Approval for residential loans happens in 15 minutes or less. Interested homeowners can visit www.ygreneworks.com to determine eligibility and fill out an application or give us a call and we will guide you through the entire process including connecting you with a Ygrene certified contractor in your area – if needed.
What is the process for securing a commercial loan?
- Interested commercial applicants can schedule an appointment to speak with a Ygrene representative through our website. Then, once we receive an application, Ygrene’s underwriting department will reply within 3 business days outlining what documents are needed in order to issue our finance documents to the property owner.