As the state suffers through one of the hottest summers on record, Pennsylvania officials are reminding residents that money is available to help keep them cool.

Pennsylvania’s recently expanded Keystone Home Energy Loan Program, known as KeystoneHELP, offers homeowners low-interest unsecured loans for home improvements that meet Energy Star guidelines.

Energy Star is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program that certifies energy-efficient appliances, air conditioners and other consumer goods.

“Pennsylvania homeowners trying to find relief from the heat should not have to break a sweat when facing skyrocketing electric bills all summer,” state Treasurer Robin L. Wiessmann said. “Our KeystoneHELP program provides a lower interest way for Pennsylvania homeowners to affordably improve the energy efficiency of their homes and save money on their utility bills.”

The state’s treasury joined with Allentown, Pa.-based AFC First Financial Corp. last year to spend up to $20 million in the next three years to expand the loan program. Approved homeowners can receive rates as low as 6.9 percent for energy-efficiency upgrades.

“Using energy-saving products and practices is good for our environment and the public’s health because it helps reduce pollution that causes air-quality problems,” said EPA mid-Atlantic administrator Donald S. Welsh. “The Energy Star program has been incredibly successful in getting more and more people to know that conserving energy helps our environment - and saves you money, too.”

State officials say residents have received more than $9 million in program loans so far.