Merkley Touts Renewable Energy and Increased Access to Financial Services in Bend

Merkley Touts Renewable Energy and Increased Access to Financial Services in Bend

Merkley toured PV Powered and headlined Bank on Central Oregon kickoff event.

Bend – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley toured Bend today, visiting a leading clean energy business and helping launch a program to increase rural Oregonians’ access to basic financial services.

Merkley started his day by visiting Bend-based PV Powered, the largest U.S.-based manufacturer of solar power inverter technology.

“PV Powered is creating the jobs of the future. By channeling the sun’s power to the electric grid, PV Powered is making the new clean energy economy a reality,” Merkley said. “PV Powered is reshaping our energy industry, creating jobs and showing the way towards Oregon’s economic recovery.”

After the PV Powered tour, Merkley headlined Bank on Central Oregon’s kickoff event. Bank on Central Oregon will help people who don’t have bank accounts gain access to essential financial services such as checking, savings, credit, and financial education.

Today’s launch is the first time that “Bank on,” a program with initiatives in several U.S. cities, has opened their service in rural communities. Twelve banks and credit unions are participating in the Bank on Central Oregon program. 

“With 30,000 Central Oregon households without either a checking or savings account, there are far too many families lacking the basic foundation of economic security. I’m so proud of this community for standing up and reversing this imbalance,” Merkley said.  “I appreciate that so many financial institutions are working with community groups to find community-based solutions to protect consumers as they make that first leap into the financial world.  These programs give families the tools to build a better future. ”

Merkley will end his day by holding a 7 p.m. town hall at Summit High School at 2855 NW Clearwater Drive in Bend.