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Efficiency Maine Launches PowerSaver Loan Program

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April showers are bringing more than May flowers to Maine homeowners this year.  A new loan program announced yesterday by Efficiency Maine and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development puts energy efficiency within reach for all homeowners, making weatherization and comfort improvements easy and affordable statewide.

“PowerSaver is another financing tool in the tool kit,” said Richard Burbank, president of Evergreen Home Performance in Rockland.  “It’s one of the best options for many homeowners to pay for a comprehensive home energy upgrade and protect themselves from the devastating combination of high heating oil prices, inefficient old houses, and cold winters.”

Record-high oil prices have brought a sense of urgency to the energy efficiency movement, despite this year’s mild temperatures.  “It’s true, we had a mild winter this year,” said Efficiency Maine Executive Director Michael Stoddard yesterday,  “but when the cost of our primary heating fuel rises 300% in a decade, mild weather doesn’t help much.  The total cost to heat our homes is still too high.”

Maine has the oldest housing stock in the country, and is more dependent on heating oil than any other state.  “There’s little we can do to control the fluctuations of the world oil market,” said Ed Cervone of the Maine Development Foundation, “but there’s plenty we can do to control how much oil we use.”

PowerSaver offers a clear path reducing consumption, with long term, 4.99% interest loans available to homeowners pursuing eligible efficiency projects.  The new program compliments Efficiency Maine’s year-old PACE program, which offers similar terms but had to be authorized by each municipality.

Michael Freedberg of HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities joined Stoddard, Burbank, and a dozen energy contractors and business owners to celebrate the launch, and congratulated Maine on being one of the first states to offer PowerSaver loans.  “Maine is a pioneer,” Freedberg said.  “PowerSaver builds on the success of the Home Energy Savings Program and PACE, and it will give more homeowners the ability to live in greener homes.  It’s the right program at the right time.”

A large digital clock counted down to the beginning of next winter, only 252 days away, reminding Mainers that time is of the essence.  “Mainers should not wait until next winter to fix their homes,” said Burbank.  “Now is the time to weatherize.”

Homeowners can learn more about financing energy efficiency improvements at Evergreen Home Performance’s PowerSaver launch party and information session, Thursday, April 12, 6-8 pm, at its Rockland office (15 Tillson Ave). Evergreen Energy Advisors will explain how they diagnose energy efficiency challenges, engineer customized solutions, and install comprehensive upgrades that increase comfort and cut costs with strategic air sealing, insulation, and basement encapsulation.  Renewable energy systems offer another powerful pathway to efficiency, and ReVision Energy will explain the types of solar energy-driven systems available.

Evergreen Home Performance