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4 Ways Coloradans can Take Advantage of Home Energy Loans for Eco-Friendly Upgrades

Discover how home energy loans can help fund energy-efficient upgrades to reduce utility bills, increase property value, and lessen environmental impact in Colorado.

Kathleen Martin //June 6, 2024//

Aerial view of typical american building roof with rows of blue solar photovoltaic panels for producing clean ecological electric energy. Renewable electricity with zero emission concept
Aerial view of typical american building roof with rows of blue solar photovoltaic panels for producing clean ecological electric energy. Renewable electricity with zero emission concept

4 Ways Coloradans can Take Advantage of Home Energy Loans for Eco-Friendly Upgrades

Discover how home energy loans can help fund energy-efficient upgrades to reduce utility bills, increase property value, and lessen environmental impact in Colorado.

Kathleen Martin //June 6, 2024//

Tackling energy-efficient upgrades to your home can reduce monthly utility bills, boost the value of your property and lessen your impact on Colorado’s environment. To make this a reality, consider applying for a home energy loan. While many homeowners believe the only qualifying project for this loan type is solar panel installation, that’s not true. 

There are many eco-friendly projects a home energy loan can fund, from heating and cooling to windows and doors. Use this list to inspire your next remodeling adventure. 

READ: Balancing Net Zero and Keeping the Heat On

What is a home energy loan?

As a homeowner, you can apply for a loan to update your home to make it more energy efficient. While the Colorado RENU program offers up to $75,000, home energy loans aren’t solely for massive home projects; the minimum amount Elevations will finance for a home energy loan is $500.

That might be the perfect amount to tackle that weekend project that’s been lingering on your to-do list!

Which projects qualify for a home energy loan?

Larger projects can include solar panel installations, electric vehicle charging stations, and insulation and air sealing.

You can also install home monitoring equipment that gives you feedback on your power usage, like a smart, programmable thermostat.

A smart thermostat allows for the automation of your home’s temperature, including energy-saving changes like turning the furnace down a few degrees when you’re asleep or not home. 

1. Solar PV & solar thermal 

We know going green can cost some green.

Options like the Colorado RENU Loan can help you fund up to $50,000 for home energy efficiency upgrades like solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert solar energy into electricity.  

You might also consider a residential solar thermal system, which provides hot water (warmed by the sun) as energy to heat your home. 

READ: Understanding ESG & Colorado’s Energy Transformation

2. Windows, doors & skylights 

Finally, you might discover that updating the seals on your doors wasn’t enough to reduce drafts. Are you feeling a light breeze near your windows and doors? Then, it’s time to shop for replacements. 

You can use a home energy loan to purchase ENERGY STAR windows and exterior doors. If you have a historic home, mention this on your application as preapproval is required for particular window types in the program. 

3. Insulation & air sealing 

Reducing energy costs starts with keeping your heating and cooling inside your home. By evaluating and refreshing the insulation in your home’s walls, floors, foundation and attic, as well as replacing the seals around your doors (don’t forget the garage door, too!) and ductwork, you can lower and stabilize energy costs. 

By completing insulation and air sealing tasks around your home, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates you can save an average of 15% on heating and cooling bills. That means an expense currently at $200 per month would drop to $170! 

4. Lighting 

Light bulbs likely won’t require an energy loan in and of themselves. However, if you’re already planning to borrow for another energy loan project, updating the bulbs to be more energy-efficient might be an area to evaluate.

As you evaluate your lighting, make a list of bulb needs for lamps, ceiling fans, ceiling lighting, exterior home lighting and built-ins, like under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen or bulbs tucked away in a shower surround. 

Fund your home energy project

Whether you’re looking to update your electrical system to allow for a home charging system or replace your windows with more efficient options, you can fund your home energy project locally.

 

Kathleen Martin is a content specialist at Elevations Credit Union.

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