Feds Back Home Energy Efficiency Loans

$25,000 to make the energy-efficient home improvements of your choice? Yes– U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Energy DOE Secretary Steven Chu recently announced that they’ve come together to offer financing to qualified homeowners for such projects in different regions throughout the country as part of a new, two-year pilot program.

These new PowerSaver loans, as they’ve been dubbed, are offered by eighteen national, regional and local lenders and backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They will cover the installation of insulation, duct sealing, replacement doors and windows, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels, and geothermal systems.

Energy Efficient Home Improvement

image via Energy Trust of Oregon

Donovan and Chu recently announced the list of participating lenders during a tour of a family-run company that offers home energy audits and upgrades in Long Island, New York. FHA mortgage insurance will cover up to 90 percent of the loan amount in the event of default; lenders will retain the risk associated with the remaining 10%, ensuring that they, too, have some “skin in the game” to incentivize responsible underwriting and lending standards.

HUD developed PowerSaver as part of the Recovery Through Retrofit initiative launched in May 2009 by Vice President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force, which is focused on expanding green job opportunities and boosting energy savings nationwide. The pilot program is part of an inter-agency effort that includes 11 departments/agencies and six White House offices.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • Wolf

      What about those who low-income who can’t do loans? How can those people make their homes green without paying bk a loan that would only take them broke. Its hard to get by now.