The St. Petersburg and Clearwater area has very hot and humid summers with rain nearly every day. This subtropical climate is subject to strong storms, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, which impact many peoples’ lives. 

Making their home safe and secure is a top priority for most residents. However, sometimes these repairs and improvements are not in the budget. This is where the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) can help. SELF provides low interest loans to homeowners to make their homes safer, more secure, more efficient, and more comfortable. Their mission is to help rebuild and empower underserved communities by providing access to affordable and innovative financing for sustainable property improvements, including solar power. 

Not only can you make your home hurricane proof, but you can also benefit from the savings on your electric bill and making our environment more sustainable. SELF finances a variety of home projects, including: 

Energy Efficient Upgrades which make your home use less energy. These products include energy efficient air conditioning units, water heaters, duct sealing, weatherization, LED lighting both indoor and outdoor, solar window tinting, and more. You can make big difference in your energy consumption by making small changes to your home. 

Renewable Energy Upgrades which provide clean electricity to power your home. The energy we currently use, such as oil, gas, and coal, are gradually running out as well as increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Transitioning to renewable energy is the only solution. SELF provides financing for solar water heaters, solar electric panels and solar attic fans to improve your carbon-free energy use. Because Florida is the “Sunshine State”, it's a good way to make use of it! 

Wind Hazard Mitigation Upgrades which helps homes weather the Florida storm season. SELF finances hurricane resistant windows, doors, and roofs and hurricane shutters. No more worries during the hurricane season. 

Water Conservation Upgrades which help homeowners capture the savings of efficient water use. SELF finances irrigation systems, rainwater cisterns and lateral line replacements for sewer systems. 

According to scientists, climate change is causing a chain effect creating significant impacts in the form of stronger, more frequent storms, drought, sea level rise, and extinction events. It's our responsibility to make this world sustainable, for our future and our future generations. Start with your systems at home, and educate your family and friends so they can make changes too. SELF has offices in Orlando, Melbourne, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Tampa and St. Petersburg, but you don’t need to live near one to take advantage of their financing. Just call 772-468-1818 to find ways to save dollars as well as help our planet!

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Cover photo approved by SELF.