About AFC First
AFC First Financial Corporation www.afcfirst.com, founded in 1947 and based in Allentown, PA, is a national leader in residential energy-efficiency and renewable lending and rebate programs. Nationally it operates its EnergyLoan® www.energyloan.net program, in partnerships with states, utilities, manufacturers and municipalities. Programs are offered through a network of over 2,000 Approved Contractors – companies involved in selling, installing and servicing high efficiency heating, air conditioning, weatherization and “whole house” remodeling and alternative energy related home improvements.
AFC First is one of three approved Fannie Mae Energy lenders in the U.S. It is the administrator for Pennsylvania’s Keystone HELP Energy Efficiency Loan and Rebate Program www.keystonehelp.com, the state’s official ENERGY STAR® and energy efficiency program, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Treasury, DEP and PHFA. AFC First worked with DEP to create the rebate program which accompanied the expansion of Keystone HELP in 2009. AFC is also the creator and administrator the state of Connecticut’s Solar Lease program, ctsolarlease.com, the nation's first rate payer supported residential PV financing plan in cooperation with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The program also combines rebates and financing in an innovative fashion and has exceeded volume expectations by more than 50%.
In an expansion of it contractor and consumer training efforts, AFC First recently opened the Green Energy Center. The Green Energy Center houses AFC First energy lending operations as well as a “green” jobs training and contractor education campus in cooperation with Lehigh Carbon Community College.
AFC First presents a unique combination of historical consumer loan experience, energy industry knowledge and a highly regarded focus on contractor/dealer training and due diligence. It is qualified and experienced in consumer loan and rebate program development and underwriting and servicing of energy related loans and rebates. AFC First has worked regionally with HVAC and other energy related contractors for over sixty years. It expanded its EnergyLoan® program multi-state in 1999, when it became one of a handful of FannieMae Approved Energy lenders, and has developed a network of over 2,000 Approved EnergyLoan® contractors in twenty states. AFC has partnered with Nova Bank, a $650 million commercial bank to facilitate the national expansion of its EnergyLoan® platform and can readily perform services in any state.
Success of the program is a result of maintaining active relationships with AFC First’s approved contractors. Contractors are required to meet approval criteria, including minimum length of time in business, satisfactory business and personal credit references, and a reputation for a high level of service and workmanship. Consistent contact and ongoing training sessions for contractor/dealer sales staff, along with online and rapid approval capabilities, extended hours, marketing and website development services are key to program utilization.
In January 2005, AFC First began a pilot program with the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (Allegheny Power) to provide lower rates for ENERGY STAR® and other high efficiency improvements. This program evolved statewide in 2006 with the support of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department which has purchased over $30 million in high efficiency home energy loans originated and closed by AFC First. These loans are serviced by AFC First with an independent loss reserve established through grants from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority and the Department of Community and Economic Development. And additional funding from the Department of Environmental Protection. The program was later expanded with an exclusive partnership with the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for larger loans for home performance and renewable energy improvements. The program was expanded in 2009 with the infusion of legislative money into the Department of Environmental Protection which directed fund to Keystone HELP® to subsidize lower rates and rebates...
CT Solar Lease Program
AFC First is the exclusive administrator for the successful Connecticut Solar Lease Program, supported by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. This is the first time a ratepayer-funded organization such as CCEF has partnered with financial institutions to leverage federal tax credits in order to make renewable energy more affordable. CCEF is investing $38.6 million in the program. CT Solar Leasing, LLC, finances the purchase and installation of the systems. By owning these systems, CT Solar Leasing can take advantage of federal business tax incentives presently unavailable to consumers. With the CCEF’s Solar PV Rebate Program and the federal tax incentives there is no need for a down payment. AFC First Financial manages the application and approval processes for residents, as well as handles the lease payments for CT Solar Lease.
Utility and Manufacturer Programs and Program Endorsements
AFC First manages energy efficiency finance which are often integrated with rebate programs for several utility, manufacturers and other sponsors including:
- West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund Geothermal Rebate Program
- National Grid (New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)
- Duke Energy (Ohio)
- Progress Energy (South Carolina and North Carolina)
- South Jersey Gas
- New Jersey Natural Gas
- Energy Kinetics
- Connecticut Clean Energy Funds
- Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association
- EPA/Energy Star (featured program)
- U.S. Department of Energy (model program)
Services Provided: AFC First specializes in contractor driven energy efficiency loan and rebate programs. Our focus in on the ongoing recruitment, screening, management and training of contractors authorized to perform work under the program. We provide these contractors with several additional “toolbox” services to make the program more to them including full and custom HVAC and energy web site solutions through our affiliate EnergyWeb Solutions www.energywebsolutions.com as well as custom marketing programs, bill stuffers etc. We also provide ongoing on-site and webinar training sessions for our dealers.
- Contractor recruitment
- Contractor screening and approval
- Maintenance of the contractor database
- Maintenance of the consumer loan and incentive database
- Contractor training including site visits and statewide training seminars
- Contractor compliance
- Creation and maintenance of the program website
- Custom application sites for all Approved Contractors
- Print marketing portal for contractor customization and fulfillment of program materials
- Creative work for all contractor and consumer program marketing materials used in normal course of program marketing materials
- Program public relations
- Centralized loan approval and underwriting
- 24/7 acceptance of consumer loan applications
- Customer service call center
- Loan funding
- Dealer disbursements
- Qualifying improvement completion verification
- Loan servicing monthly billing statements
- Loan servicing including all payment processing and collections
- Loan default management
- Energy related program statistics and reporting (program specific)
- Sponsor reporting
- Rebate Processing
AFC First/EnergyLoan Management
PETER J. KRAJSA is Chairman/CEO of AFC First Financial Corporation, a specialty energy efficiency lender founded in 1947 which operates programs in twenty states in association with states, municipalities, utilities, manufacturers and contractors. Mr. Krajsa has over 25 years experience in consumer lending and mortgage banking, and was responsible for creation of AFC First’s EnergyLoan® program, the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department an DEP and the CT Solar Lease program in cooperation with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. He is a second generation owner of AFC First. Mr. Krajsa is also a principal in Franklin Acquisition Advisors, a middle market merger and acquisition firm and a director of EnergyWeb Solutions, a provider of websites to energy companies.
Mr. Krajsa joined AFC First in 1978 and became President in 1982. He holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Professionally, Mr. Krajsa has served as Chairman of the Board of the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Independents Section and as a member of the national AFSA Board of Directors. He has also has served as Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Financial Services Association and the Pennsylvania Home Equity Mortgage Association. He is a frequent presenter and panelist at energy finance industry conferences.
JOHN M. HAYES, President/COO Mr. Hayes has over 20 years banking experience. Most recently he was with East Penn Bank as Executive Vice President, Lending Division of the Bank and President of East Penn Mortgage Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank. His responsibilities at East Penn included leading all lending functions of the organization (commercial lending, mortgage lending, private banking and retail lending) as well as the Loan Operations and Information Technology functions. Additionally, he served as a member of all management committees and the Bank’s Board Loan Committee and Asset Liability Committee. Prior, Mr. Hayes was Senior Vice President / Senior Loan Officer of American Bank of the Lehigh Valley, where he was part of the team that formed that de novo bank in 1997.Mr. Hayes joined AFC First in August 2006. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from St. Joseph’s University and is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
JULIE A. UNGER, Director of Operations Employed by the AFC First since 1999, Ms. Unger has over 20 years of consumer and mortgage lending experience. She was previously a Senior Lender for First Union Bank where she originated, underwrote and processed consumer and mortgage loans and was involved in the development and management of the dealer network. Ms. Unger supervises all credit underwriting, loan processing, and quality control and administration for the EnergyLoan® and Keystone Home Energy Loan Programs. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing from King’s College.
KENNETH A. YEAGER, Director of Sales employed by the AFC First since 2005, Mr. Yeager has over 15 years experience in the heating, cooling and energy industries, having served as Operations Manager for a fuel and HVAC company for 10 years and as Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager for an energy industry software and consulting company. Mr. Yeager is responsible for contractor recruitment and training and is a frequent speaker at HVAC and energy industry meetings. He holds a B.S. in Business from Penn State University.
AFC First's Original Corporate Headquarters
Founded in 1947 by John L Krajsa Sr. and Anna C. Krajsa, AFC was one of the first independent lending institutions licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. John L. Krajsa Jr. and Peter J. Krajsa joined the company in the 1970s and assumed ownership in the late 1980s. Peter J. Krajsa is the current principal owner, joined by John M. Hayes in 2006. The company began as a specialty lender making unsecured character loans to good credit borrowers; a market then not serviced by traditional banking institutions. As the marketplace changed and credit card and other consumer loan vehicles emerged, AFC First began to focus on home improvement lending (HVAC and remodeling) as a way to expand its base of good credit customers. The company also entered the secondary mortgage or home equity lending business in 1980, among the first such companies licensed in the state.
AFC First Energy Center - New Corporate Headquarters
In 1981 the company began to fund its portfolio in part with investment certificates offered directly to the public through an offering registered with the Pennsylvania Securities Commission. AFC First also began active participation in the secondary market selling mortgages on a bulk and flow basis. Throughout the 1980s and early 90s the company expanded its business throughout Pennsylvania primarily through correspondent relationships with community banks, mortgage companies and high quality home improvement dealers.
In 1995 AFC First began offering FHA Title One Home Improvement Loans on a statewide basis, and in 1999 was approved as a FannieMae Energy Loan lender. It has continued to expand the Energy Loan program offering it in cooperation with selected sponsoring manufacturers, utilities and other organizations,
AFC First is licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking under the Secondary Mortgage Loan Act and the Consumer Discount Company Act. As such a licensee it meets the requirements to function as a first and secondary mortgage banker or broker and is exempt from the Pennsylvania Mortgage Bankers and Brokers Act. It makes first mortgages under the Pennsylvania Loan Interest and Protection Law and is a Federal Housing Creditor under the Garn-St. Germain Act. It operates in others states as a licensed lender or under state exemptions.