ACHRNEWS

May 2, 2011: New Pilot Program to Help Homeowners Pay for Energy Efficiency Improvements

May 2, 2011

WASHINGTON - Eighteen national, regional, and local lenders will participate in a new two-year pilot program that will offer qualified borrowers living in certain parts of the country low-cost loans to make energy-saving improvements to their homes. Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), these new PowerSaver loans will offer homeowners up to $25,000 to make energy-efficient improvements of their choice, including the installation of insulation, duct sealing, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels, and geothermal systems.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the program.

“We believe the market is right for a low-cost financing option for families who want energy-saving technologies in their home,” said Donovan. “PowerSaver hits on all cylinders by helping credit-worthy homeowners finance these upgrades, cut their energy bills, and boost the local job market in the process. While FHA and these lenders are jumpstarting this pilot, we hope its success will lead to a growing private sector interest in making these types of loans.”

The remodeling industry cites surveys that point to a growing demand among homeowners interested in making their homes energy efficient. Yet options are still limited for financing home energy improvements, especially for the many homeowners who are unable to take out a home equity loan or access an affordable consumer loan. Initially, the PowerSaver pilot program is estimated to assist approximately 30,000 homeowners to finance energy-efficient upgrades though higher market demand may increase this impact.

Participating lenders are largely selected based on their commitment to work in partnership with established home energy retrofit programs provided by states, cities, utilities, and home performance contractors.

For more information on the PowerSaver pilot program, go to http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=FHAPowerSaverFactSheet.pdf.

Publication date: 05/02/2011