How Energy-Efficient is Your Home? Find Out Now

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/how-energy-efficient-is-your-home.aspx

At Natural Home we understand the importance of energy-efficient homes—and we also understand the frustrations of financing the expensive retrofits that make this possible. Now two new programs from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are making energy-efficient home improvements easier. 

Under the DOE’s Home Energy Scoring Program, a trained and certified contractor will evaluate a home’s energy performance and offer a home energy score between 1 and 10. The larger the number, the more efficient the home. Homeowners will also receive a list of specific recommendations they can address to improve their score, along with estimated utility bill savings, payback period and greenhouse gas emission reductions. 

Home Energy Score example 
The Home Energy Score program will rate a home's energy efficiency on a scale of 1 to 10. Photo Courtesy Department of Energy. 

Meanwhile, HUD’s new PowerSaver program will offer low-cost loans to help homeowners pay for insulation, duct sealing, solar panels and other energy-efficient improvements. Loans of up to $25,000 will be available at or below market rates. 

Both programs will first run as pilots. From now until late next spring, the DOE will offer the Home Energy Scoring program in Charlottesville, Virginia; Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Minnesota; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Indiana; Portland, Oregon; South Carolina; Texas; and Eagle County, Colorado. (If you live in one of these locations, click here to learn more.) The PowerSaver program will begin in early 2011 and will run as a pilot program for two years.