Financing your residential and commercial energy improvements puts smart energy within reach. The idea is simple: energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy systems draw less energy from the grid. Because of that, monthly utility costs are lower. This approach unlocks more capital to invest in sustainability. You can save even more when low-interest financing is paired with rebates.
Is low-interest financing right for your home energy project? Here’s a round-up of what’s available to Roaring Fork Valley homeowners:
Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM)
This tool allows you to borrow extra money to pay for energy improvements. It applies to both remodels and new homes. For example, an EEM could be used to help you get more capital for cost-effective energy improvements when you refinance a mortgage. Additionally, it could help you qualify for a larger mortgage amount on an energy-efficient home. Best of all, this all as part of a single mortgage.
Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit
A home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can be used to finance your project using equity in your house. The basic difference is the loan is a one-time lump sum. Usually with a fixed interest rate. Alternatively, HELOC is a line of reusable line of credit with an adjustable interest rate. In all, interest rates are lower than other types of loans because they are secured by the home.
Personal or Home Improvement Loan
Home improvement loans are unsecured. In other words, your property or assets will not be used as collateral. Consequently, the interest rates tend to be higher than home equity loans. These loans are sometimes called a “home improvement loan.” They are available at banks, credit unions or other lending institutions.
There are lending products designed specifically for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Specifically, in 2018 the Colorado Energy Office sponsored The Residential Energy Upgrade Loan (RENU). This low-interest loan to helps Coloradans invest in energy upgrades. RENU contractors work locally and that means finding funding is easy.
|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|
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The Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) provides financing for business. As a result, your commercial building gets funding too!
C-PACE enables owners of eligible commercial and industrial buildings to finance up to 100% of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. Financing is provided by private capital providers at competitive rates. Repayment terms are up to 20 years. Basically, these loans are a great deal. The program is designed for contractors, building owners, developers, mortgage holders, capital developers, counties and governments.
CASE STUDY: A MIRACLE BOILER
Soon after Michael Miracle and his wife moved into their Aspen affordable housing unit, the boiler they inherited was on the fritz. Then they called CORE. Because of this, they “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.”
Miracle’s final $112 loan payment is due in three weeks. They’ve had a son who is now taller than their heating unit in the five years since they installed the boiler. The cozy, quiet heat will carry on for this family of three long past the final check they’ll write. That being the case, their boiler will deliver estimated energy savings of $647.50 over the life of the unit.