NEW ORLEANS, LA – As part of its continuing effort to promote energy efficiency, the City of New Orleans announced today that the NOLA Wise program will expand to serve commercial clients, and offer a loan program to help them make energy-saving improvements.
NOLA Wise, a partnership between the City, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program, and Global Green USA, helps individuals make their properties more comfortable and more efficient. Services may include a professional and thorough energy assessment on the needs of the specific building, quality work from vetted contractors, and access to incentives and loans to pay for the retrofit.
“The NOLA Wise program is a tremendous resource for individuals who want to make environmentally friendly decisions” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “We’re excited to now make this valuable resource available to our local business owners so that they can also make the wise investment in saving energy.”
Fidelity Homestead Savings Bank of New Orleans will offer the commercial loan product, which builds on the homeowner lending products currently available to New Orleans residents through the NOLA Wise program. Altogether, these programs will present a total energy investment opportunity of $15 million for the community.
"Since its founding in 1908, Fidelity has worked tirelessly to make our community a better place by supporting outstanding community initiatives like the NOLA Wise commercial loan," said Alton McRee, president and CEO of Fidelity. "We are proud to be partnering with the City, Global Green and SEEA to begin offering NOLA Wise commercial loans, which will enable our commercial customers to begin making commercial energy efficient improvements for the good of our community."
NOLA Wise is managed by Global Green USA, a non-profit environmental organization.
Global Green USA’s New Orleans Director Beth Galante said, “We were thrilled to partner with Fidelity on another outstanding energy efficiency loan program.” Galante continued, “Local business owners in New Orleans deserve to have access to affordable, high quality energy upgrades to lower their utility costs and strengthen their bottom line and this low interest rate program now gives them the power to make that investment.”
As part of Fidelity and SEEA’s partnership with NOLA Wise, SEEA has invested $300,000 to serve as a first line loan loss reserve, which will guarantee up to $3 million in loans. Now, New Orleans building owners seeking to make their properties more energy efficient will be able to work with NOLA Wise and Fidelity to secure lending for their projects. The NOLA Wise commercial loans will be available at Fidelity on a first come, first served basis to commercial property owners within the NOLA Wise program.
“SEEA is ecstatic about this partnership,” said SEEA President Michael Mills. “Together, these loans for residential homeowners and businesses will help remove the most common barrier to energy efficiency upgrades, the upfront cost, allowing participants to save both money and energy.”
Mills concluded, “Making it easier for people to invest in their homes and business is ultimately good for everyone because it strengthens the family budget, a business’ bottom line and ensures a more vibrant economy for the City of New Orleans.”
NOLA Wise helps property owners navigate the home improvement process from start to finish. After completing an initial property assessment to determine how energy efficiency could be improved, property owners are provided with an inventory of suggested improvements. These might include new insulation, tuning up the heating and cooling systems, improving lighting, and sealing windows and doors to reduce air leaks. If needed, the program also provides help in obtaining incentives and loans to make the changes. NOLA Wise also provides specially trained and certified contractors to do the improvements. The program monitors their work to ensure quality.
“It is exciting that NOLA Wise will join the City Council's Energy Smart program in offering affordable energy efficient alternatives to our commercial community,” said District A Councilmember Susan Guidry. “The NOLA Wise and Energy Smart programs are both currently collaborating successfully to increase energy efficiency in our residential community. Now our businesses will be better able to afford to take energy saving measures that will save them money and reduce our carbon footprint.”
District D Councilmember Cynthia Hedge Morrell said, “The expansion of the NOLA Wise program to serve commercial constituents is a welcome addition. The initiative proved to be very successful for the homeowner, as it provided support in assessing energy efficiency, the availability of loans, which allowed energy-saving improvements and help in navigating the home improvement process from start to finish. With that same direct guidance from NOLA Wise, this great opportunity for businesses to make their buildings energy efficient will ultimately offer sustained cost savings. I hope that our local businesses will take full advantage of the opportunity that is offered to them.”
To learn more about the NOLA Wise program, please visit nolawise.org or call 504-523-WISE.