Step 5: Financial Assistance
All applicants must agree to have an energy assessment (test in) conducted on their home prior to the start of their project, and a test out after work is completed. The energy assessment will help identify the most cost-efficient upgrades that the homeowner should pursue and generate data necessary to confirm the minimum 20% improvement in energy efficiency. All energy assessments must be performed by a program approved building analyst, and all home upgrades must be performed by a program approved company with a Installer on staff.
Program approved companies will provide each homeowner with an energy assessment report, recommended improvements, and a detailed cost estimate. A copy of this report must be included with every loan application. The technical information required for renewable projects will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may include a site assessment and/or energy production or savings calculations, with assumptions.
While the goal of this program is to increase energy efficiency for residential homes throughout the County, we also want to ensure its long-term sustainability. Because of this we need to ensure that applicants are able to repay their loans in a timely manner.
The maximum default loan term is 10 years. The minimum loan amount is $500 and the maximum is $10,000. Special considerations may be given to renewable energy projects on a case-by-case basis.
Currently program loan interest rates depend on income. Once a loan has been approved and closed, the interest rate cannot change.
The County will secure all loans with a Deed of Trust.
Applicants will be responsible for repaying their loans according to a payment schedule with no prepayment penalty. Loan payments made beyond the 15th of each month will be charged a 10% late payment fee or $25, whichever is larger.
- For an application to be processed an applicant must submit a completed application, with all required documentation and application fee. Our office will review complete applications and notify applicants whether they are approved.
- Once an applicant has been pre-approved, our office will help them obtain an energy assessment through one of the program’s prequalified contractors. After an energy assessment has been performed and report of proposed energy improvements has been generated, the Housing Unit will help the applicant determine which energy efficiency upgrades are most appropriate and help them locate a program approved contractor to perform the energy upgrades.
- After the applicant has chosen a contractor and an estimate has been provided, the applicant and the Housing Unit will close on the loan and work can begin. The County will pay the contractor directly with the proceeds of the loan.
- Any additional expenses, not covered by the loan, must be paid by the applicant.
- The applicant will be required to start making payments on the loan approximately 1 month after the loan has been closed on.