How Connecticut Homeowners Can Qualify for Low-Interest Energy-Efficiency Loans

Tuesday May 29, 2012
Posted at 08:55

Residents of Connecticut, if you’re thinking about investing in home improvements to cut your energy use and save money off electricity bills, you may be able to get attractive financing for your improvements through the Connecticut Housing Investment Fund, or CHIF. CHIF’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program offers low-interest loans for a wide variety of energy efficiency improvements, from insulation to ENERGY STAR–certified heating and cooling systems. Here’s how it works:

Basic CHIF Eligibility Requirements

To take part in CHIF’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program, your residential electricity must be delivered bythe Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) or the United Illuminating Company (UI).

Before you can apply for a low-interest CHIF loan, you’ll need to schedule a professional Home Energy Solutions (HES) Energy Assessment from an approved HES contractor to test your home’s efficiency and recommend energy-efficient improvements. An HES Energy Assessment can be scheduled by calling 877.947.3873.

After you have your assessment, you’ll need to getan estimate from an approved CHIF contractor and apply for your CHIF loan online at www.CHIF.org or by phone at 800.992.3665.

Amount of Loans

All energy efficiency loans that homeowners apply for under CHIF’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program must be between $2,500 and $20,000.

Program Categories, Interest Rates and Terms

Program Categories and Interest Rates

CHIF’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program offers two main categories of programs, which qualify for one of two interest rates, either 2.99 percent or 4.99 percent. When you bundle qualifying improvements or equipment upgrades from both categories, the entire package qualifies for the lower 2.99 percent interest rate.

A third category specifically for residential electricity customers of CL&P offers market-rate loans to help cover the cost of installing geothermal heat pump systems.

Loan Terms

CHIF offers unsecured, fixed-rate loans with repayment terms up to 10 years. There are no fees or prepayment penalties. The homeowner assumes the loan and CHIF pays the contractor directly. Repayment begins 30 days after the work is complete. UI customers make monthly payments directly via their utility bills. CL&P customers can choose to make monthly payments to CHIF or directly via their utility bills.

Improvements that qualify for 2.99 percent financing include insulation, ductless heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and tankless natural gas water heaters:

 -High efficiency insulation must meet current HES rebate requirements

 -Ductless heat pumps must meet the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund’s ductless heat pump criteria for the $1,000 incentive level; ductless heat pumps must be installed in a zone that has electric resistance heat as the primary source of heat

 -Electric heat pump water heaters must have an Energy Factor (EF) of 2.0 or greater

 -Tankless natural gas hot water heaters must have an EF of 0.082 or greater

Improvements that qualify for 4.99 percent financing include central air and heat pump systems, air to air heat pumps, natural gas furnaces and boilers, and replacement windows:

 -Central air and heat pump systems must meet equipment early retirement criteria and utilize heating and cooling system rebates and the QIV rebate program; they must also have minimum ratings of 14.5 SEER, 12 EER, 8.2 HSPF

 -Air to air heat pumps must be used to replace electric resistance heat; they must have minimum ratings of 14.5 SEER, 12 EER, 8.2 HSPF

 -Natural gas furnaces must be CEE TierII–certified with a 92 percent AFUE rating and have an air handler performance level of 2 percent or lower

 -Natural gas boilers must have a 90 percent AFUE rating and feature temperature reset or purge control

 -Replacement windows must meet HES program eligibility and replacement criteria and must be used to replace single-paned windows

 -Geothermal heat pump systems may be eligible for financing under the CHIF Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program at standard market interest rates. To qualify, homeowners must be residential electricity delivery customers of CL&P and homes must meet current geothermal program guidelines.

ENERGY STAR–Certification Requirement

All new or upgraded equipment, including replacement windows, must be ENERGY STAR–certified to qualify for a low-interest loan under CHIF’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program.

For More Information

For more information about the CHIF Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program and qualifying improvements, download the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund’s Residential Energy Efficiency Financing brochure or call the Connecticut Housing Investment Fund at 800.992.3665.

Sources

Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund brochure, “Residential Financing.”

Connecticut Housing Investment Fund, “Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Program.”

DSIRE, “Connecticut: Energy Efficiency Fund (Electric and Gas) — Residential Energy Efficiency Financing.”


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