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Green Mortgages, Improvement Loans and Incentives

Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs)
EEMs are typically used to purchase a new home that is already energy efficient such as an ENERGY STAR certified home. The term EEM is commonly used to refer to all types of energy mortgages including Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs), which are used to purchase existing homes that will have energy efficiency improvements made to them. EIMs allow borrowers to include the cost of energy-efficiency improvements to an existing home in the mortgage without increasing the down payment. EIMs allow the borrower to use the money saved in utility bills to finance energy improvements.

Both EEMs and EIMs typically require a home energy rating to provide the lender with the estimated monthly energy savings and the value of the energy efficiency measures — known as the Energy Savings Value. EEMs (and EIMs) are sponsored by federally insured mortgage programs (FHA and VA) and the conventional secondary mortgage market. Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs. You can read FHA’s EEM Fact Sheet here.

You can get more information about Conventional, FHA and VA EEM’s on the ENERGY STAR website.

KeystoneHELP Home Energy Improvement Loans
If you are looking to make improvements to your home after closing then you may want to look into the KeystoneHELP program. KeystoneHELP is a financing program offered through a public/private partnership between Renew Financial, the Pennsylvania Treasury and PENNVEST that provides low-cost home improvement loans to Pennsylvania homeowners for energy efficiency related projects to help homeowners take advantage of thousands of money-saving efficiency upgrades. A KeystoneHELP loan can help you upgrade your home inside and out. You can increase your home’s comfort and save energy with this fast, convenient financing option for energy-saving improvements. Thousands of energy products and improvements are eligible, including appliances, heating and cooling equipment, lighting, windows and doors, air sealing and insulation and more. A full list of standard KeystoneHELP-eligible improvements is available here.

Homeowners Energy Efficiency Loan Program (HEELP)
PHFA offers income limited loans to moderate income buyers through the Homeowners Energy Efficiency Loan Program (HEELP). Loans are between $1,000 and $10,000 for specific energy efficiency repairs at a fixed-rate of one percent (1%) for ten years with no prepayment penalties. The money can be used for new roofs, air sealing, insulation, windows, doors and heating and cooling replacement.

Pittsburgh Home Rehabilitation Program (PHRP) and PHRP PLUS for Energy Efficiency
PHRP offers a 0% interest rate to help income eligible City of Pittsburgh homeowners improve their homes. The loan term can be spread over 20 years, making your payment as low as possible. Homeowners may borrow up to $25,000 for a single unit home and $35,000 for a two unit home. In combination with the loan, we offer grants for an assortment of needs, among those: repair or replace the public sidewalk, improve the exterior of the home, remove lead hazard, and provide easier accessibility for homeowners with disabilities. There is a $300.00 processing fee that can be financed as part of your 0% loan. The URA has also just introduced PHRP Plus, a new Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Under this program you will receive a $2,500 grant, higher borrowing limits up to $35,000 for a single unit home, and a longer repayment term to 25 years. Under this program a trained professional Energy Auditor will asses the energy consumption of your home and lay out a prioritized list of needed weatherization measures. You can find out more information on this program on the URA website.

Utility Company Home Energy Improvement Programs
A number of local companies offer energy improvement programs, ranging from discounted home energy audits, free lightbulbs and incentives for home energy improvements. You can find out more on their websites.

West Penn Power / First Energy Program
Duquesne Light Watt Choices Program
Columbia Gas Audits and Rebates Program