We are pleased to highlight our partnership with Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU). CECU is a financial institution focused solely on providing loans that help people afford clean energy products and services. We spoke with Nicole Burford, Marketing Director, about the company and its mission. Keep reading to learn more about CECU and its vision of a world where everyone can participate in the clean energy movement.
*Note: The following answers are summarized from an interview with Nicole Burford from Clean Energy Credit Union
What are some of the important values of Clean Energy Credit Union that set you apart from other financial institutions?
We are different from your traditional credit union in that we are solely focused on providing loans and deposits services that promote clean energy. The loans that we offer help people afford clean energy products, such as EVs, e-bikes, solar electric systems, geothermal, and green home improvement loans, which can be used to add a charger to your house or upgrade your electric system for EV charging as well.
One of the strongest values that set us apart is our vision of a world where everyone can participate in the clean energy movement. We enforce that vision by giving our members access to loans for clean energy projects and by giving people a chance to put their dollars towards clean energy products. When you open an account of any kind with us, your money is going directly to someone else being able to afford clean energy, whether that’s an EV or a solar electric system, or anything in between. We invest back into our members so that we can invest in clean energy.
How could someone who is interested learn more about joining CECU?
Since we’re an online-only credit union, the best way to learn about our services is to go to our website. There, people can see the different loan opportunities and account options we offer. One thing that’s unique to our credit union is that our designated field of membership is made up of mission-aligned organizations throughout the U.S. so anyone who belongs to this list of organizations is eligible to join our credit union. If somebody wants to join our credit union and does not already have a membership, they’re welcome to join any of those. Once you belong to that organization, you’re able to join our field of membership with no long process of paperwork. It’s easy to apply on our site, simply tell us what organization you belong to, and you’re able to take advantage of all our services. We also have a full member service team and loan team that are available via phone and chat to answer any questions.
How is CECU making an EV more affordable for its members?
We strive to offer the most affordable loan rates that we can. Since we’re a not-for-profit, we don’t have to serve stockholders and turn out a profit. We’re very focused on serving our members and giving them the best possible rate. It’s important to us to stay competitive to make clean energy affordable. Right now, we have an auto rate as low as 2.29%, which is super competitive in the industry, and that comes with the benefit of knowing where your money is going.
Since we only offer auto loans for EVs, our loan team is very well versed in incentives and programs that help members save money on their EV purchases. So along with getting those good rates, you can trust that we’re going to be able to help you through that process as well. We also partner with many communities and foundations that work to offer additional discounted loan programs with hopes to assist underserved, low-income populations as well.
How can Drive Electric Colorado and CECU work together to achieve that goal of getting more EVs on the road in Colorado?
DE-CO does a great job of putting out information and educating Coloradans on what EV incentives are available to them. We want to work with your organization to educate people on the best way to finance their EVs. We want to help people know the different types of financing options that are available, and at the end of the day, we hope to partner with DE-CO to ensure that EV buyers are making the best choice for them as well as for the environment. This helps people to make climate-conscious decisions, get more EVs on the road, and ultimately create a better environment.
Is there anything more you’d like to share about CECU?
Unlike traditional banks, CECU is a not-for-profit cooperative we’re democratically owned and controlled by our members on a one-vote per member basis. We operate to serve our mission and our members, so it’s important to know that when you join our credit union, you’re our number one priority and we’re not in it for our profit.
Additionally, we’re designated as a low-income credit union by the NCUA. That means that over half of our members fall into that low to moderate-income range. That’s something that we’re really proud of because we want to make clean energy available to everyone, not just parts of the population who have been able to afford it. That’s important to us because we truly stand behind our mission of making clean energy available to everybody so that everyone can participate in the clean energy movement.