How to Finance Your Energy Project

It wasn’t soon after Michael Miracle and his wife moved into their Aspen affordable housing unit that the boiler they inherited started going on the fritz. With whispers of a neighbor whose heat went out for an entire winter, they started exploring options to keep the warmth flowing. “A boiler is pretty essential,” said Miracle. “I can’t say we would have gone without it.”

Essential — and expensive — as far as replacing items in your home goes. They invested about $6,000 in a Lochinvar Knight, which Miracle lauds for its small size and quiet operation in their 1,000-square-foot townhouse. By choosing a highly efficient model (earning a 95% AFUE efficiency mark) and obtaining a home energy assessment, they qualified for a CORE rebate that knocked down the price by 25%*.

CORE then connected the couple to a low-interest energy efficiency loan with a fixed rate of 3.75%. The financing “took what was probably the most expensive thing that we personally would be responsible for in our unit and essentially made it a fairly modest monthly payment,” said Miracle. The rebate check arrived before the first loan statement, and “delayed any financial pain for a year, which is a really great thing.”

      Aspen homeowner Michael Miracle and son Marcel are all smiles about their high-efficiency boiler.

Miracle’s final $112 loan payment is due in three weeks. In the five years since they installed the boiler, they’ve had a son who is now taller than their heating unit. The cozy, quiet heat will carry on for this family of three and, long past the final check they’ll write, will continue to deliver energy savings, estimated at $647.50 over the life of the unit.

This list represents financing products we are aware of and the terms as of February 2018.

PROGRAM Secured Unsecured Loan Limits Loan Terms Interest Rate Eligible Projects
RENU X $500 – $35,000 Up to 180 months 2.75% Renewable energy, energy efficiency
Alpine Bank Green Lending X Flexible 10 years Variable Renewable energy, appliances, automobiles
Clean Energy Credit Union X X $50,000 Up to 120 months 2.49 to 7.99% Solar PV, energy efficiency, automobiles
Garfield Clean Energy’s Revolving Loan X X $1,000 – $25,000 Flexible 3.75 to 8.5% Renewable energy, energy efficiency

Is low-interest financing right for you? To learn more about the options available, please check out the resources below:

Personal or Home Improvement Loan

The Residential Energy Upgrade Loan (RENU) is offered through Elevations Credit Union. And to make things even easier, there are registered RENU contractors working locally.

Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM)

This tool allows you to borrow extra money to pay for energy improvements on your current home or on the home you will purchase. For instance, an EEM could be used to help you get more capital for cost-effective energy improvements when you refinance a mortgage or help you qualify for a larger mortgage amount on an energy-efficient home, all as part of a single mortgage.

Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit

If you have enough equity in your house, a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be used finance the work. The basic differences between the two is that the loan is a one-time lump sum, often with a fixed interest rate. Whereas a HELOC is a line of reusable line of credit with an adjustable interest rate. Because these loans are secured by the home, interest rates tend to be lower than other types of loans.

The financing structures are different, but the idea is simple: energy efficient homes use less energy, meaning monthly utility costs are lower. Therefore, homeowners have more disposable income to invest in best sustainability practices. In the long run, this could save you money.

Still, choosing the right financing product is important. We recommend you further research repayment periods, interest rates, eligible projects and other conditions. Commercial building owners, developers and multifamily complexes may seek additional opportunities, such as Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy financing (C-PACE).

For everything else, remember: we’re problem solvers. We are here to help you finish any energy-saving project you can dream up. Email us or call our expert staff at 970-925-9775. We’re standing by!

*CORE’s rebates are reviewed — and when needed, adjusted — from year to year to incentivize the most impactful efficiency measures in the marketplace. Check out our rebate page for the latest in CORE and utility incentives.

By |2018-07-05T14:16:38+00:00February 15th, 2018|Blog Feed|