When a bank launches a green initiative, sustainability may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but Elgin-based Frontier Bank of Texas is changing that perception on several fronts. From the installation of solar energy panels to the financing of commercial conservation efforts, Frontier Bank is breaking new ground by identifying and acting on creative ways to help cut CO2 emissions.
Recognizing the leadership role a bank can play as an environmentally conscious business, Frontier Bank has completed the installation of solar panels in three banking locations in Central Texas. The goal is to reduce the bank’s energy consumption and subsequent emissions. The project includes the bank’s locations in Elgin, Austin and Manor, as well as plans to incorporate solar panels into future facilities as the bank continues to expand its footprint. As of April 1, the Elgin location is offsetting 98 percent of its energy consumption while the Austin and Manor locations are offsetting 94 percent and 97 percent respectively. The bank’s new tagline on its website reads, “Brighter Banking. Powered by the Sun.”
The bank recently became the first in Texas to finance a Texas Property-Assessed Clean Energy—or Texas PACE—project. The first collaboration of its kind in Bastrop County, the Texas PACE program enabled Elgin General Store owner David Glass to install solar PV on the roof of his business without draining capital. The Texas PACE program is a conduit for long-term, low-cost financing for energy and water efficiency improvements to industrial, commercial, multi-family residential and nonprofit buildings. The improvements include a wide range of modifications such as HVAC replacement, solar panels, high-efficiency windows and doors, insulation and rainwater collection systems. Frontier Bank is one of only two banks in Texas offering financing for Texas PACE projects.
“Frontier Bank worked hand-in-hand with Texas PACE authority to fund that first project with David Glass and Elgin General Store,” says Patrick Johnson, president and CEO. “We look forward to finding additional ways to utilize this program in Bastrop, Travis, Hays and Williamson counties.”
In addition to these more overt efforts to help bring about a healthier environment, Frontier Bank has also created numerous services and treasury management products that allow bank customers to travel less and accomplish more without the need to burn fossil fuels. Johnson sees these efforts as another way for the bank to be environmentally responsible.
“For our growing community, it’s imperative we do our part as a community bank to preserve our resources and support the projected growth of our region,” Johnson says. “From loans for sustainable agriculture to showing responsibility in the way we expend energy, we take very seriously our role as a leader in the community.”
Established in 2007, Frontier Bank of Texas has assets of $505 million and operates locations in Elgin, Bastrop, Manor, Austin and Leander.