If you are a City of Holland resident it will soon be easier to make and finance energy efficient updates to your home thanks to the Holland On-Bill Loan Program.
As the first program of its kind in Michigan, the Holland On-Bill Loan Program allows for qualifying energy efficient home improvements to be financed with a long-term, low-interest rate loan through the newly created Holland Energy Fund, and conveniently repaid on the homeowner’s monthly Holland Board of Public Works electricity bill.
Why Have an On-Bill Loan Program?
The new program is rooted in the City of Holland’s long-term Community Energy Plan, with one goal being to cut the carbon footprint in half by 2050 for the city’s 7,400 single-family homes. This not only has a major impact on the environment and Holland’s position as a leader in energy efficiency, but improves the housing market with increased home values, improves the comfort and quality of life for homeowners, and has an economic impact from the money saved from reduced energy costs.
Even with the added comfort and energy savings obtained from energy efficient home improvements, the high upfront costs are often a barrier for many homeowners. The Holland On-Bill Loan program is a tool to overcome this barrier to make the financing and repayment simple and convenient for city residents do their part in becoming more energy efficient.
“We commend Holland for launching such a program to make energy efficient upgrades easy and affordable,” said Mark Massey, owner of RetroFoam of Michigan, an authorized Michigan Saves insulation contractor. “We look forward to doing our part to help Holland residents greatly increase their energy efficiency with foam insulation.”
Qualifying for the Holland On-Bill Loan Program
To qualify one must be a resident of the city of Holland, have a year of on-time payments with the Board of Public Works, and not have any back taxes or bankruptcies in the past three years. These qualifications level the playing field for individuals who may not have the best credit or are not able to obtain a home equity or traditional loan.
How the On-Bill Loan Program Works
The program consists of four easy steps:
Get an Energy Assessment
Work with an authorized Michigan Saves contractor to complete an energy audit and blower door test to determine the state of the home and what energy efficient improvements make sense to implement. Energy savings measures or equipment discussed in the Michigan Energy Measures Database are eligible to be financed. This includes most products labeled with an Energy Star sticker, along with items such as air sealing, doors, insulation, roofs, and renewable energy.
After the audit, the homeowner will complete the application for the on-bill loan and submit the results from the energy assessment.
Plan and Upgrade
Once the loan is approved, the contractor will complete the agreed upon improvements. After the work is completed a final blower door test will be conducted showing the results of the energy efficient upgrades.
The homeowner will conveniently pay back the loan via monthly Holland Board of Public Works electric bill.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- Loan Terms: Up to 15 years.
- Interest Rate: 4.99% for up to 10 years; 5.99% for 10 to 15 years.
- Loan Amount: Borrow from $5,000 to $30,000.
- Early Payoff: The loan can be paid off early with no penalties.
- Credit: The homeowner’s credit will be pulled but no credit score will be used, or debt to equity ratio, to qualify for the loan.
- Transfer: The loan payments are tied to the property and can be transferred to the next homeowner if agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller.
Additional Rebates and Incentives
In addition to the simple and convenient on-bill loan program to finance energy efficient upgrades, the Holland Home Energy Retrofit Program will also be launching to offer a minimum $2,000 grant for homeowners investing in extensive retrofit projects over $10,000.
Homeowners participating in these new programs are also still eligible for the standard energy efficient rebates through the Holland Board of Public Works and Semco, sweetening the deal even more.
An Example of Incentives at Work
Say it costs $10,000 to re-insulate and air seal a whole house with foam insulation in the city of Holland. After a $2,000 grant from the Holland RetroFit Program, the energy efficient improvements would be reduced to $8,000. Financed with the on-bill loan program with a 10 year term, the monthly loan payment on the homeowner’s electric bill would be around $85 per month. Not to mention, the homeowner would additionally receive another roughly $900 in Semco rebates and potentially be eligible for up to a $500 federal tax credit.
“In addition to the low monthly payments, it will be exciting to see how much this will be offset from the new energy savings,” said Massey of RetroFoam of Michigan.
RetroFoam of Michigan has been following the Holland On-Bill Loan Program closely. If you are interested in upgrading your insulation and would like to learn more about taking advantage of the Holland On-Bill Loan Program or Home Energy RetroFit Program, contact us today at 866-900-3626 for a free consultation.