Special Financing for your solar energy project

Solar King can help you get special financing for your solar energy project. Our residential financing partners are Admirals Bank and Michigan Saves.

Michigan Saves

Michigan Saves is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable for all types of Michigan energy consumers—businesses, schools, municipalities, and residents. Endowed with an initial trust fund of $6.5 million from the Michigan Public Service Commission, this program eliminates the upfront costs of installation and provides a streamlined process for securing financing at preferred rates. To do this, Michigan Saves leverages third-party capital with innovative credit enhancement mechanisms, works closely with energy efficiency and renewable energy system contractors, coordinates with similar programs in the state and across the country, and monitors the program to track results and ensure success.

Using this Program

This guide is written in a conversational way, reflecting the manner in which industry professionals refer to efficiency measures or efficiency programs. As a result, there are instances where terms are used interchangeably, such as the terms “audit” and “assessment.” A glossary of commonly used terms is provided in Appendix A. This guide represents the best and most accurate information on the Michigan Saves loan program, as of the date on the front cover. A summary of changes to each version of this guide is recorded after the table of contents. Contractors should download the latest version of this guide and forms from the Michigan Saves website: www.michigansaves.org.


Under the Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program, homeowners can finance any eligible energy efficiency improvement that is implemented by a Michigan Saves Authorized Contractor. Eligible energy efficiency improvements include any measure or piece of equipment with an Energy Star® label, such as air conditioners, air source heat pumps, appliances, boilers, doors, furnaces, geothermal systems, roofs, skylights, water heaters and windows. See Appendix B for the full list of eligible measures. Air sealing and insulation are eligible for financing when the homeowner receives a comprehensive home energy assessment by a certified home energy auditor. Homeowners can also use Michigan Saves financing for renewable energy measures like solar PV systems and solar thermal systems. Michigan Saves will also finance the remediation of pre-existing environmental hazards or the repair of physical/structural defects that create health and safety issues, so long as the remediation or repairs are coupled with an appropriate efficiency measure and the cause(s) of the environmental hazard or physical defect are addressed. Michigan Saves loans under this program are unsecured loans for amounts of $1,000 to $30,000 at 7 percent fixed-rate interest with terms of up to 120 months. Some lenders may offer loans at rates below 7 percent. Details are provided in Table 1. See Appendix C for additional details on the underwriting criteria, including required documentation. Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program: Implementation Guide March 2014 2 Table 1. Loan Product Details.

Loan Product Details

Eligible properties

  • Owner-occupied, single-family (1–4 unit) homes

Loan Type

  • Unsecured personal loan

Eligible improvements

  • Energy-saving home improvements installed by a Michigan Saves Authorized Contractor

Loan amounts

  • $1,000 to $30,000

Loan Terms

  • One year per $1,000 up to $4,999; customer can pick term up to 10 years for loans $5,000 and higher

Loan Rates

  • Not to exceed 7.0% per year or such other rate as Michigan Saves may determine on a semi-annual basis. Lenders may offer rates below 7.0%. Fixed rate with no prepayment penalty.

Key Underwriting Criteria

  • Minimum 640 FICO (if there are multiple borrowers, the lower score, regardless of income, must be used for qualification). Additional criteria apply. Each lender may set more stringent underwriting criteria.

Michigan Saves loans are made directly by participating lenders (see www.michigansaves. org for a list of lenders). To streamline the process, the loan application and approval process is centralized. The Michigan Saves loan application center takes loan applications via the Web or phone and provides a decision within minutes. Applications can also be taken directly by participating lenders. Customers make loan payments to the lender. This loan servicing function can also be performed by a utility if there is an agreement in place between the utility and the participating lender(s). Three lenders, MSUFCU, DCECU, and AAC, do not currently use the centralized loan application system. Contact the lender directly to apply. While the Home Energy Loan Program is available statewide, not all lenders are available in all parts of the state, and underwriting criteria vary slightly by lender. Michigan Saves offers lenders the choice of adopting a minimum 640 credit score or a minimum 680 credit score. Currently, all participating lenders allow credit scores of 640 and above. Participating lenders, and their minimum accepted credit score, are listed on the Michigan Saves website.

Numerous organizations are involved in this program—from the program’s marketing to the installation and financing of improvements and program monitoring. Roles of key entities, which are referenced in this guide, are summarized in Table 2

Admirals Bank

There are two types of loans that you can apply for at Admirals Bank. The individual(s) preparing or submitting this application must be the home owner(s) that is/are requesting financing for a home improvement or renewable energy project that has not yet been started or completed. Admirals Bank does not accept home improvement or renewable energy loan applications that have been completed or submitted by third parties.

The Solar StepDown Loan

Maximum Loan Amount: $25,000 (secured)

  • No equity or appraisal requirements
  • StepDown borrowers may request a one-time re-amortization within the first 24 months from the date of funding to lower their monthly payment. This allows them to pay down the loan with solar tax credits and incentives they may receive.
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Funds disbursed to borrower before work begins
  • Tax deductible interest (consult your tax advisor)
  • Access to a team of renewable energy financing experts

The FHA Title I Home Improvement Loan

Maximum Loan Amount: $25,000 (secured)

  • No equity or appraisal required*
  • 100% upfront funding (money is disbursed before you or a contractor begin work)
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Tax deductibile interest (consult your tax advisor)
  • No seasoning requirements
  • Flexible loan terms


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