Making renewable energy accessible to more people is crucial to the global fight against climate change. Curbing carbon emissions can feel like a monumental challenge. It can sometimes feel overwhelming. But we’re far from helpless—especially if we combine our efforts in a common direction.
Around Salal we like to say: “there’s power in together.” What does it mean? Well, as a member-owned financial co-operative, we’ve seen firsthand how even the smallest actions, when added together, can translate into real impacts. When everyone pitches in, even a little bit, we can accomplish big things. That’s why, guided by our all-volunteer Board of Directors, Salal is committed to giving 5% of our annual profits to help drive positive change on issues our members care about. This means that simply by doing your banking with Salal, you are helping make an impact.
The Difference Your Membership Makes
Thanks to members like you, we are able to make targeted charitable donations focused on four areas: healthcare, housing insecurity, social equality, and renewable energy. When it comes to renewable energy, Salal members are making a difference in two key ways. Through the Salal Foundation, we partner with innovative organizations working to make solar energy accessible to more people in more communities. We also provide financial support for solar industry workforce training and education. Thanks to Salal members, in 2021 the Salal Foundation gave $90,000 in support to renewable energy causes.
So, how does this support play out in the real world? A good example is our partnership with GRID Alternatives, an organization working to build community-powered renewable energy solutions that advance economic and environmental justice. GRID Alternatives creates and installs solar projects that serve low-income households and communities, along with helping these communities access a variety of clean mobility and battery storage incentive programs.
With $40,000 in financial support from Salal members in 2021, GRID Alternatives was able to install solar systems for four households, giving these families access to no-cost solar energy. This past year Salal’s funding also supported GRID’s Collegiate Solar Spring Break Conference. During this 3-day event, 100 students gained real-world skills for finding jobs in the solar industry, interacted with solar industry professionals, and learned how social injustice relates to current trends in climate and environmental injustices.
Empowering Members to Shrink Their Carbon Footprint
A second important way Salal is expanding access to renewable energy is by offering members low-cost financing for electric vehicles and solar energy. When it comes to solar power, our Dealer Direct solar power financing program funded the installation of 8,035 solar systems for homes and businesses in 2021—a 300% rise from the year before. When added together, these solar systems will produce an estimated 85,171,000 kwh for homeowners in their first 12 months—eliminating 60,359 carbon emissions. That’s the equivalent of 66,714,022 lbs. of coal burned or taking 13,127 passenger vehicles off the road for a whole year.