We Are Michigan’s Green Bank

While many know us as a nonprofit dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable for Michigan’s energy consumers, what’s less known about us is that we operate as a green bank. But there’s something even more special about our identity: we’re not just a green bank, we’re the nation’s first nonprofit green bank, and we build financing solutions that serve people and their futures.

So, what is a green bank? You might sometimes hear it referred to as a “green investment bank” or “clean energy finance authority,” but simply put, it’s a public, quasi-public or nonprofit financial institution that facilitates private investment in clean energy (i.e., low-carbon and climate-resilient technologies and infrastructure). In our case, we are a nonprofit green bank that enables favorable, low-interest loans to families, business owners, municipalities, schools, churches, and multifamily housing properties to make the energy-efficiency and renewable energy upgrades they want and need.

Mary Templeton speaking to the attendees of the 2018 Governor's Energy Excellence Awards
Pat O'Boyle and partnering lender
Michigan Saves team at conference dinner

Our affordable financing is made possible by partnerships with private-sector lenders and a risk-sharing formula known as a loan loss reserve. This sophisticated form of credit enhancement is, in its simplest form, a pool of money we set aside to help cover losses in the event a borrower defaults on a loan. This means greater security and protection for our lenders and better rates and terms for our customers—creating more access and enabling them to get credit otherwise unavailable on the private market.

As a green bank that’s part of a broader network, we believe it’s important that we use this term when talking about ourselves. But what makes us different from our peers is that we’re not just part of that pack—we’re leading it. Our well-conceived financing solutions are designed for function and engineered for success, resulting in energy savings, money savings—and in the end—happy people. We are Michigan’s green bank. We are the nation’s first nonprofit green bank. We are Michigan Saves.