How many organizations will be supported by this program?
We hope to serve 5-8 organizations in 2023.
What is a letter of commitment?
A letter of commitment states your organization’s intent and commitment to complete a project with a total cost of at least $5,000 ($10,000 for returning organizations). A draft letter is included here.
What happens after my organization signs the letter of commitment?
IFF and the City will work with your organization to fully understand the needs of the building. We will ensure that your organization is able to undertake the project(s). IFF’s energy auditor will go through your facility and put together a report. The report will include potential energy efficiency improvement recommendations for your facility. This report will help us narrow down on the projects your organization wishes to pursue. It will also help compile a cost estimate and anticipated payback periods. The cost estimate will help us understand the amount of subsidy your organization will need and the number of additional dollars required through lending. If your organization needs lending, you may work with IFF to negotiate a lending agreement. If your organization does not have lending needs, you will move forward with selecting a contractor and pursuing the project.
What will you look at during the energy assessment?
An energy assessment reveals the potential for energy reductions in a building. You can generally expect a review of electricity and natural gas bills and energy use analysis. You will also receive low-cost or no-cost recommendations for capital improvements. The City will subsidize energy assessments for program participants. See IFF Sample Energy Assessment.
How will organizations choose what vendor to use?
The City of South Bend references resources to find contractors.
You make the decision on contractor selection. You can choose to select a contractor outside of the resources referenced by the City.
Is this a recurring program?
EASSI is made possible through the City of South Bend’s Office of Sustainability budget. There is no guarantee that we will have EASSI in 2024.
What are the loan amounts from IFF?*
The minimum loan size is $5,000 and the maximum loan size is $6 million.
*IFF is solely responsible for loan eligibility determinations.
Can my organization receive a grant without a loan?
Yes, your organization is not obligated to apply for a loan through IFF. It is only an option available through this program. IFF is a mission-driven lender focused on nonprofits. It can be a resource to address your financing needs, especially for larger projects. No IFF lending may be needed if your project costs do not exceed $5,000 or if your organization has the means to cover the costs that are not covered by the grant. Keep in mind that the City of South Bend’s maximum grant amount from the City is $30,000. For more grant details, please visit this link. If your project cost exceeds those amounts, your organization may want to work with IFF to evaluate whether a loan is an appropriate option.
Can my organization get financing from my local bank instead of IFF for this program?
Yes. You are not required to take a loan through IFF. If you have an existing relationship with your local bank and would prefer to use them for financing this project, please do so.
What kind of collateral will be required against the loan?
The collateral ask will depend on the kind of project undertaken by your organization. If you are looking to simply install solar panels on the building, IFF might decide to hold collateral on the equipment purchased with the loan funds. If you are looking at a remodeling or reconstruction project, then IFF might consider the building itself as the collateral. Collateral determinations will be made solely by IFF.
Is there a prepayment penalty on IFF loans?
No, there is no prepayment penalty.
What is the typical payback period for a solar panel project?
The payback period depends on the size of the solar system. Typical payback periods range between 10-15 years. However, the Inflation Reduction Act does provide solar incentives that can decrease your payback period.
Visit Go Solar in South Bend to learn more about solar basics and ways to reduce your payback period.
How it Works
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Resources to Find Contractors
Meet the Cohort!
For more information about qualified solar and energy efficiency projects:
- Call: 574-235-7568
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about eligibility, requirements, and IFF financing:
- Call: 317-860-6904
- Email: email@example.com