WEfficiency Pools Small Loans To Help Nonprofits Save Energy and Lower Costs

Posted June 17, 2014

HONOLULU — At a ceremony at the YWCA Laniakea today, Blue Planet Foundation announced the launch of WEfficiency, an online crowdfunding tool that enables nonprofits to install energy-efficient equipment that will lower their electricity bills. With the money they save, the nonprofits can pay back their supporters and do more good work for their communities.

Three features distinguish WEfficiency, developed locally by solutions agency Sudokrew, from other crowdfunding platforms:

  • Every dollar goes farther: A $1 donation can turn into $4 in energy savings. (A $10,000 efficient lighting retrofit can save the nonprofit $40,000 over its lifetime.)
  • Efficiency, by definition, saves: The power of efficiency is that it guarantees immediate energy savings, which translates into lower monthly bills. By reducing their costs, WEfficiency empowers nonprofits to do more for our community.
  • Give a loan OR a donation (we call it a “loanation”): You can get your money back or recycle it into other projects.


Governor Neil Abercrombie joined Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Blue Planet Foundation Board of Directors in presenting the first “loanations” to representatives from the three inaugural nonprofits, YWCA Laniakea, Damien Memorial School, and Hawaii Public Radio.

“Energy efficiency is our fastest-growing clean energy resource. It’s a resource that is available, here and now,” stated Governor Abercrombie. “The State has created programs like on-bill financing and green financing to make these efficiency solutions accessible by eliminating the upfront cost barrier. WEfficiency tackles the same barrier—with a focus on nonprofits whose work is dedicated to making our communities better.”

“WEfficiency merges three great ideas that fit perfectly together—the instant payback of efficiency, the leverage of a ‘crowd,’ and the opportunity for supporters to ‘pay it forward,’” explained Blue Planet CEO Jeff Mikulina. “It’s the first crowdfunding platform of its kind. Instead of giving a man a fish, or teaching him how to fish, WEfficiency helps him build a fishpond.”

To boost the kick-off, Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu, is offering some additional support in the form of matching “loanations.”

“WEfficiency is aligned with our mission of helping residents and businesses become more energy-efficient,” said Hawaii Energy Program Director Ray Starling. “These deserving nonprofits can spend less on electricity and more on the invaluable services that make a big difference for the people they serve.”

Blue Planet wishes to thank WEfficiency’s partners: Atherton Foundation, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Energy Industries, Inc., Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, Hawaii Energy, Johnson Controls, Inc., and Sudokrew, LLC.

In 2013, WEfficiency was formally recognized as a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action.

Make a loanation at www.wefficiency.org. Learn more at blueplanetfoundation.org/wefficiency.

Download "About WEfficiency" animation at vimeo.com/94713058.
Download Damien Memorial School campaign video at vimeo.com/95817295.
Download YWCA campaign video at vimeo.com/95817295.

Photos: (Top) Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Kirk Caldwell celebrate as Blue Planet's Board of Directors present the first "loanation" to YWCA, Damien Memorial School, and Hawaii Public Radio. (Bottom) The Blue Planet Foundation team's new mantra: A WE bit goes long way.

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This press release was written and distributed by Blue Planet Foundation. For more information, contact Catharine Lo at 808-782-3733 or catharine@blueplanetfoundation.org.

Blue Planet Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to clearing the path for clean energy: We inspire leaders to change the rules, and accelerate cost-effective, secure, renewable energy. We inspire communities to adopt smart, replicable energy solutions. We inspire everyone to believe in the power and possibility of a future beyond fossil fuels