One mid-Atlantic State’s energy efficiency loan program couldn’t have been implemented as quickly and successfully without the dedication of EERE’s project management team.
DOE project managers used their experience and expertise to assist state and local governments, and non-profit and private sector partners, to structure, set up and implement their expanded home energy upgrade financing programs in record time. The project management team’s fast action was a critical part of translating plans into projects, providing technical assistance, and program design feedback, to enable clean energy investment under the Recovery Act. DOE provided knowledge of financial program implementation, in-depth review of program design and implementation strategies, and recommendations for leveraging utility and private sector financing.
The energy efficiency loan program is a statewide program that provides homeowners with low-interest loans for residential energy efficiency improvements that save money by saving energy. Eligible improvements include ENERGY STAR-qualified upgrades and others, such as geothermal heating and cooling systems. Additional incentives are available to homeowners who choose to implement comprehensive upgrades through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. In addition to loans, the program helps residents take advantage of energy audits, find the right contractors for the job, and navigate the complex clean energy incentives landscape. The energy efficiency loan program advances Recovery Act’s goals by simultaneously injecting capital into the economy and saving money for homeowners. But what’s impressive about the program is the project’s true shovel-ready nature.
One of the subprograms, offered at the county level, will make energy upgrades to low and moderate income households while promoting local job opportunities in an economically challenged area. The county’s energy efficiency assistance program was restructured to integrate and leverage existing weatherization and financing programs. The program launched in less than three months with dedicated coordination and teamwork from the EERE project management team.
Through another subaward, this time in a major city, the DOE team assisted city program leaders by quickly rolling out a loan program for the metro area based on existing service and delivery. They also streamlined the loan application process and enabled coordination with existing utility incentives to make energy efficiency upgrades more affordable.
According to the state treasurer, the energy efficiency loan program has assisted over 6,000 homeowners by financing more than $45.8 million in home improvements that have saved energy, boosted investment in clean technologies, created green jobs, and relieved the financial burden of volatile energy costs to low and middle income families across the state. This program, which embodies all important aspects of EERE’s Recovery Act goals, was made possible by the speedy and successful hard work by the EERE project management team.