August 1, 2012
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR REPLACEMENT WINDOWS AND SIDING
By: Kevin E. McCarthy, Principal Analyst
You asked, on behalf of a constituent who is a United Illuminating customer, for a description of programs that provide grants or loans for replacement windows or siding.
The Connecticut Housing Investment Fund (CHIF) administers loan programs for energy efficiency improvements, including replacement windows under limited circumstances, and for home improvements, including siding. The Home Performance with Energy StarŪ program, administered by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, provides a $50 rebate for residential utility customers who replace a single pane window with an energy efficient double pane window. A homeowner can participate in both the loan and rebate programs.
Among other things, the CHIF energy efficiency program provides loans to replace single-pane windows without storm windows with energy efficient replacement windows (those with a U rating of no more than 0.3). To qualify for a loan, a customer must own and occupy a single- or two-family home (including condominiums) and be a Connecticut Light & Power or United Illuminating Company customer. The homeowner must also have an approved contractor implement one or more efficiency improvements recommended during a Home Energy Solutions (HES) energy audit conducted within 18 months of the date of the loan application.
The loans are available for replacement windows in the building's envelope; basement, attic, and garage windows in unheated areas are not eligible. Loans ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 are available for terms of up to 10 years. The loans are unsecured and have no fees or prepayment penalty. The interest rate is 4.9% for homes heated by gas or electricity and 9.25% for Connecticut Light & Power customers who heat with oil or propane. The program is sponsored by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund in partnership with the electric and gas companies. Information on it is available at http://www.chif.org/page/borrower-information-and-application.
CHIF, in cooperation with People's Bank, also offers a statewide loan program that allows eligible homeowners to borrow up to $10,000 at a 7.99% rate for a 10-year term for various home improvements, including siding. To qualify, a homeowner must: (1) own and occupy a one- to four-family home, (2) have a gross income that does not exceed the program's income limits; and (3) have good credit. Income limits vary depending on the applicant's family size and the location of the home. Information about the program is available at http://www.chif.org/page/home-improvement-loan-program.
The Home Performance with Energy StarŪ program provides rebates for residential utility customers who replace single pane windows with energy efficient double pane windows. To participate, the customer must first have an audit conducted under the HES program. After the audit, the contractor provides the customer with a custom proposal for services to reduce energy loss in the home, outlining the energy savings these upgrades will provide.
If the customer proceeds with the project, he or she works with the contractor to complete the application form. The Energy Efficiency Fund, which administers the program, will send the customer a letter of agreement outlining the incentives for the upgrades. Upon completion, the utility inspects the project and mails a rebate to the customer. In the case of replacement windows, the rebate is $50 per window. Further information on the program is available at http://www.uinet.com (while this is a United Illuminating website, the program is also available to Connecticut Light and Power and gas company customers).