Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Low Interest Loans for Energy Efficiency Upgrades Available

$325,000 available through City of Portland's Division of Housing & Neighborhood Services for qualifying homes

PORTLAND, Maine - The City of Portland announces the availability of low interest loans for Portland home owners for energy efficient renovations. The Owner-Occupied Residential Rehabilitation Program offers loans of up to $15,000 to be paid over a period of up to twenty years. Interest rates range from zero to three percent and can be forgiven in certain circumstances. Income eligibility ranges from $38,200 for an individual to $54,550 for a family of four.

"During such difficult economic times, this program is an excellent way for homeowners to pay for energy efficient upgrades they might think they would be unable to afford otherwise," stated Councilor Dave Marshall.

"With fuel costs doubled in just a year, people really need to find ways to reduce their use of heating oil. Replacing an out-of-date inefficient furnace or adding insulation in the attic could help reign in those costs and those energy savings could be a lifesaver for a family struggling to keep their home. People need to know that there is a program in the city that can help them," concluded Marshall.

The federally funded program encourages renovations designed to make a single-family home more energy efficient such as window replacement, insulation, sealing air leaks, and repair or replacement of inefficient heating systems. To help homeowners access the loan program, the city's Housing & Neighborhood Services Division now has a state-certified residential energy auditor on staff.

"As the city's energy auditor, I am able in a matter of hours, to assess the situation in a home and make some very cost-effective suggestions on ways to reduce energy consumption and save the family money," stated Roger Hutchins, Housing Rehabilitation Specialist. "This service is free and available to any qualifying resident interested in the loan program.

Loan applicants can also receive help from the city's Housing & Neighborhood Services Division in locating a contractor, preparing any paperwork necessary for the loan, and managing the construction. The Program requires correcting any building or safety code violations that may need to be fixed in the home.

For more information visit the city's website at http://www.portlandmaine.gov/planning/housing.asp or call Mary Davis at 874-8698.

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David A. Marshall

City Council, District 2

City of Portland, Maine

207.409.6617

damarshall@portlandmaine.gov

www.portlandmaine.gov




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