Efficiency Maine offers weatherization specific loans for home owners looking to air seal, insulate and/or install heating systems. The goal of these loan programs is to offset the monthly premium by the reduction of energy bills due to the improvement of the homes energy efficiency. The loan programs offered are: PACE, Powersaver, and Efficiency Maine Loan Type 1 and Type 2. CLICK HERE to compare the different loan programs.
PACE PROGRAM:The PACE Program is a federally funded program in which municipalities elect to take part in. PACE is a Loan program offering a secure low interested APR designed specifically for residential weatherization and energy efficiency improvements including: Air Sealing, Insulating, Heat & Hot Water system replacements, appliance upgrades, window & door replacements, and Solar Solutions (Thermal & PV). (CLICK HERE for eligibility basics)
POWERSAVER: Any home owner can qualify for a Powersaver loan. Powersaver is broken into 2 loans: the unsecured loan which lends up to $7,500 and the secured loan which lends $7,500-$15,000. The unsecured loans are very easy to qualify for, but they do not extend payment prior to the work beginning; meaning you will have to pay the contractor deposit out of pocket (and get reimbursed by the loan post work) or work with a contractor who requires no down payment. Additionally, Powersaver requires a 3rd party to verify the completion of the work prior to the funds being disbursed (the lending company sets this up with the home owner). (CLICK HERE for eligibility basics - scroll to 2nd page)
EFFICIENCY MAINE LOAN TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2: These loans have been gaining steam lately. Although their max term life is 10yrs (compared to PACE which is 15yrs), they lend up to $7,500 and even up to $15,000 and are not secured to your home. Type 1 has a 4.99% APR and Type 2 has a 5.99% APR. These loans are designed to be processed quickly and allow most home owners to partake no matter what your credit score may be.
Efficiency Maine is also currently trying to establish a Loan program for low income eligible home owners as well. The ultimate goal being the added monthly premium should never inhibit a home owner from weatherizing their home as the savings will be greater than the added premium.
What type of guarantee do I have that these solutions will lower my energy bills? All programs require an Energy Audit. Having a qualified, and certified, Energy Auditor perform tests on your home will show you the savings achievable per solution. A high quality Audit Report can show you the estimated Costs and Savings per solutions which allow the homeowner the opportunity to make an educated decision based on their specific budget, payback goals, and monthly payment plan. Any quality Energy Auditor will walk you through the solutions after the audit is conducted and give you more than enough information to make an educated and confident decision.
One piece of advice to prospective home owners interested in Energy Efficiency Loans and the Energy Audit process... be open minded. You may think you know where your largest energy inefficiencies are, and maybe you are right, but in most cases you will be wowed at some of the solutions you never thought of.