NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) – The only thing keeping many people from having a more energy-efficient home is money.
A brand new program allows people to get green upgrades now and pay for them later in their monthly utility bill.
Ruth Lahey told CBS 2′s Elise Finch that poor insulation, inefficient lighting fixtures, and a faulty boiler were causing the utility bills in her Westchester County home to skyrocket.
“Our oil bills were very high. One of my kids’ bedrooms was extremely cold compared to the other bedroom, so I knew something was wrong,” said Lahey.
A new state program allows New Yorkers to make energy-efficient upgrades in their homes without paying any cash up front, it’s called the On-Bill Recovery Loan Program.
John Schott of the New York State Energy Authority explains that, “most of the measures that truly save a lot of energy are expensive. Through on-bill homeowners can now take advantage of upgrading their homes through energy-efficient improvements and make their payments through their utility bill.”
Homeowners first agree to a comprehensive home energy audit to identify areas to save energy. The next step is applying for a 2.99 percent loan. If approved the homeowner will be eligible for up to $25,000 to make necessary changes.
The loan is repaid each month through a line item on the homeowner’s utility bill.
Experts say that using the program can save homeowners money.
“Work that is done is actually paid for by the savings they’re going to realize every month,” said Mario Bruni of Bruni and Campisi Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.
There are no income limitations for homeowners wishing to participate in the program. Participants must have a credit score of at least 640 or a good payment history for both their mortgage and their utility bills. They must also own the property.
New Yorkers who apply now won’t have to start repaying the loan until June.
Source: CBS Local Newyork