Pathway Lending supports energy-saving projects

Anne BrockJefferson, Our Town Outdoors

Sustainability comes in many forms. For the Miller family, making wise, long-term decisions to lower their energy bills is helping keep Lick Skillet Farm in New Market afloat. Some of the tools they’ve used for their food production and agritourism business have included solar energy from Solar Alliance and low-cost financing from Pathway Lending.

Alex and Shannon Miller raise grass-finished beef and lamb, plus pastured heritage pork and chicken on their 100-year-old family farm. They enlisted Solar Alliance to add solar modules to supplement their energy needs and sought help through government energy grants.

Pathway Lending’s low-interest loans were a necessary bridge to help with construction costs up front. The Millers first turned to Pathway Lending to help with funding solar panels on the farm kitchen to support the energy requirements of a walk-in meat freezer. That process went so smoothly that they connected again when adding solar for the farm store, to power its display freezers and electric vehicle charging station.

Shannon Miller said, “Pathway was a godsend – they held our hands through it all and took away all the stress and confusion – we could never have managed without them. They and Solar Alliance are what made our project possible and we absolutely recommend them with highest regard.”

Pathway Lending‘s Energy Efficiency Loan Program Director Brandon England explained that the mission is, “To provide lending solutions, education and support services that impact the development, growth and preservation of underserved small businesses, affordable housing and sustainable communities.”

Energy-related loans for projects like solar are now at 4% for a 5-year loan and 6% for a 10-year loan. This, after a long period when the organization offered even lower-interest loans for projects like the one at Lick Skillet Farm. The Pathway Lending website lists that it funds projects that include not only solar, but other energy-saving upgrades.

England said his office can often help businesses and nonprofits meet their goals. “Energy efficiency and renewable projects can be capital intensive. Often, small businesses don’t have the cash sitting around to pay for the projects. They need financing, and traditional financial institutions don’t offer many solutions which can be used to pay for lighting, HVAC, a cool roof or solar panels. Our program offers 100% financing, often unsecured, at low rates to incentivize businesses to make investments which will return through lower utility bills.”

Pathway Lending is a 501C3 organization that also can lend to nonprofits and local governments to assist with their energy-saving projects.

Anne Brock is marketing coordinator for Solar Alliance. She can be reached at: 865-221-8349 or [email protected]


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