Several US House democrats have brought the "Green Bank Act of 2014" to Congress, in an effort to lower the price of clean energy nationwide. Based on an already effective model in Connecticut, the "Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority," the national Green Bank would leverage public and private funds to bolster finance and investment in renewable power.

The Federal Green Bank will provide loans, loan guarantees, debt securitization, insurance, and other financial support and services for energy efficiency projects. The Connecticut example bank began in 2011, and has since leverage funds to produce 1.8 megawatts of power, created 1,200 jobs, and represented energy savings equivalent to taking 2,500 cars off the roads.

The "Green Bank Academy" has already instituted seminars and learning conferences for state energy and finance officials from around the country to learn about and calm fears over how to establish and coordinate state green banks, and the Washington D.C.-based "Coalition for Green Capital" is a non-profit "whose mission is to establish green banks at the state, federal, and international levels in order to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and maximize the deployment of clean electricity and energy efficiency."

evox ACTION: In the meantime, while Washington does their debating, take a few minutes to do some due diligence about your banking institution, to make sure they are using your money in ways that don't offend your sensibilities. Does a local bank or credit union sit better with your personal philosophies? Do your prioritize convenience and many branches/ATM machines? We may each have different requirements and expectations from the institutions that hold (and invest, and make money off of) our hard-earned dollars...be sure yours represents you. If environmental concerns are high on your list, check out how your bank scores with the "Green Bank Report   "

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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