Hello, Oregon Solar Installers!
My name’s Bill Paulen, and I am the President and CEO of Generations Credit Union, based in Olympia, Washington. It’s my pleasure to introduce myself and our financial institution to you today. For some of you, this will be a re-introduction, as we met at the ASES SOLAR 2016/Intersolar North America conference this year in San Francisco - easily my favorite conference and trade show of the last several years. Way more fun wandering through 3 stories of cutting edge solar equipment and attending solar presentations than sitting through days of financial institution regulatory compliance talk. So for all of you whom I met a few months ago, nice to “talk” to you again. For everyone else: here’s what Generations is all about…
Generations Credit Union is invested in solar and energy efficiency financing. It’s our primary lending mission, and has been since shortly after my arrival in 2014. We’ve financed millions of dollars in residential and small (under $50K) commercial solar installations in the last few years, and we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Our staff and our lenders know solar. Sure, we do some auto and home loans too, but solar is our bread and butter. And will continue to be.
Quick story for you. Several months ago, some of the installers we work with began asking us if we financed projects in Oregon. So I began researching the Oregon solar market. My efforts pretty quickly led to OSEIA and a conversation with its Executive Director, Jeff Bissonnette. A few telephone meetings, a visit to Portland to meet with Jeff and some other Oregon solar participants, and we had a plan to bring affordable, easy solar financing to Oregon state. Today is the culmination of that plan, hatched so many months ago.
Together, we will open up a whole new world of solar installation possibilities. Our goal is to make the experience of borrowing for your solar system as easy as getting a car loan. We’ve deployed state of the art mobile loan application tools that allow borrowers to apply from their cell phones in less than 5 minutes. We will equip your salespeople with tools to allow them to concentrate on selling solar PV systems, not trying to wade through the financing process. And we will keep you, our partners in this venture, informed of our progress as we work together to provide a frictionless, EASY process for consumers to afford solar.
We are excited about the opportunity to work hand in hand with you, as we offer our assistance in bringing the benefits of residential solar to as many Oregon residents as we can. Here’s to the start of many great partnerships!
President and CEO, Generations Credit Union
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