Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Feds Encourage Home Energy Efficiency

Yesterday Vice President Joe Biden announced a new federal program aimed at improving residential energy efficiency, saving homeowners money, and creating new jobs for contractors.

“Recovery Through Retrofit” offers certified contractors new software to establish a “home energy score” on a scale from 1 to 10 when they evaluate individual homes. An assessment would also include estimated savings from recommended home energy upgrades.

Interested homeowners can sign up through Efficiency PA, which will administer the start up program in Allegheny County, or contact one of the certified contractors on the website Program Manager John Horchner says the goal is to make energy efficiency more tangible so homeowners will put their resources into energy efficiency: improving the home's energy score could increase the market value.

Unique to the Allegheny County program, according to Horchner, is the opportunity for homeowners to win prizes and be part of a house tour in the 2011 Allegheny County Green Innovation Festival.

Federally insured loans from private lenders will be part of another new program starting in early 2011: PowerSaver Loans, with terms up to 20 years. Horchner says there are also state and local programs to help homeowners retrofit for energy efficiency.

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