Here you will find helpful information on how home energy improvements lower your home’s energy usage, making your home more affordable!  Looking for a calculator to help determine your energy affordability?  Click here!

Home energy efficiency helps homeowners, renters, senior citizens and others lower their energy usages, resulting in lower monthly energy bills and a more affordable home.  Innovative financing, rebate and incentive programs offer NC residents and businesses financial incentives for lowering their energy usage and making their homes more affordable.  Mortgage companies are beginning to offer the buyers of energy efficient homes better interest rates due to the known lower operating costs of the homes and decreased mortgage default risk of the buyers.

Energy is a major factor in determining home affordability. When you buy a home or an energy using appliance, you pay more than just the sales price —you commit yourself to the cost of operating the home or running the appliance for as long as you own it. Affordability is best measured by calculating a consumer’s Energy Burden, the percent of income that must be used to pay the bills.

Where can I go if I need help with home energy issues but can’t afford them?  Contact local nonprofits and charities that provide services to low income, disabled, elderly and veteran families.  An organization like Rebuilding Together offers home repair services at no cost to the homeowner.

Check with government agencies like the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and programs including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Look into local crowd-funding campaigns like Clean Energy For Us, which provides a discount on energy efficiency and solar energy improvements to existing homes, and organizations like Mosaic, which use crowd-funding to allow homeowners to save money installing solar panels that are financed from hundreds of other homeowners around the country.

What institutions and programs offer financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at my home?  Three financing options are described below for informational purposes only.

  1. EnergyLoan Program
    • Homeowners can improve the energy efficiency of their homes with this fast and convenient financing program for energy-saving heating, air conditioning, insulation, windows, doors, siding, solar and other improvements.
    • Provided by AFC First Financial Corporation, founded in 1947, the EnergyLoan program helps make affordable energy efficiency available to homeowners.
    • Click here to find a contractor in your area that is approved to offer this type of loan.
  2. Energy Efficient Mortgage Program
    • FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program (EEM) helps homebuyers or homeowners save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energy efficiency features to new or existing housing as part of their FHA insured home purchase or refinancing mortgage.
    • EEMs recognize that reduced utility expenses can permit a homeowner to pay a higher mortgage to cover the cost of the energy improvements on top of the approved mortgage.
    • FHA EEMs provide mortgage insurance for a person to purchase or refinance a principal residence and incorporate the cost of energy efficient improvements into the mortgage.
    • The borrower does not have to qualify for the additional money and does not make a down payment on it.
    • The mortgage loan is funded by a lending institution, such as a mortgage company, bank, or savings and loan association, and the mortgage is insured by HUD.
    • FHA insures loans. FHA does not provide loans.
  3. HERO Program
    • HERO is the fastest-growing residential energy efficiency financing solution in the country.
    • The HERO Program offers financing for up to 20 years with low fixed interest rates for home energy products permanently affixed to the property.
    • Choose from more than 900,000 energy-saving products.

Is financing home energy improvements a good idea?  Absolutely! It’s both a good idea and very common. Around 70% of all home improvement projects up to $15,0000 are financed, and around 90% of projects over $15,000 are as well. The average American family has between $3,000 – $7,000 in disposable income available at any one point in time, and the average debt held by an American family is around $8,200. Since a small percentage of Americans are able to pay several thousands of dollars cash for important and high return on investment (ROI) improvements, financing is a great way to make these projects possible without incurring all of the up-front expense at once.

Two  common benefits to financing home energy improvements include:

  1. You don’t have to tie up your valuable disposable income and cash with large purchases.
  2. Low monthly payments and low interest rates make financing an attractive option.

Need more help?  Visit our Financing Options or Financial Assistance pages.