Chicagoland received stimulus funds from the Department of Energy to help make homes more energy efficient and help put people to work. This initiative is focusing on energy retrofits, specifically air sealing and insulation - the most cost efficient and easy way to make a home comfortable, safe, and energy efficient (which means lower energy bills). To make this do-able and inviting for homeowners, Energy Impact Illinois is offering $99 home energy assessments (typically $500). The contractors who do these assessments have applied to be a part of this project, their work has been repeatedly checked, and they have an extra home energy performance certification.
After the assessment, the contractor gives the homeowner a menu of options detailing upgrades, their costs, and their energy savings over the year. If the homeowner goes with the air-sealing and insulation option (most cost effective, easiest way to make a home energy efficient), they become eligible for an instant rebate of 70% up to $1750. There are also low interest loans available, both secured and unsecured.
Here's the math
Here is the math, based on averages of work over the last year:
Average cost of work: $2500 Rebate: $1750 Cost to homeowner: $750 Yearly energy cost savings per year: $500
An added bonus to all of this: These energy efficiency upgrades can now be listed on a home's real estate MLS listing. Homeowners in California have been doing this and seeing their home value increase by 9%. If you are interested in learning more, call Pamela Brookstein ( 708-252-0623 ) or send an email.
This stimulus funding must be used by May 2013, so it became important to figure out the most efficient way to get this money out to homeowners in our communities. A group of not-for-profits, government agencies, and utility companies came together to form an alliance - Energy Impact Illinois - to do this. ( Please note that this program is also promoted by the utilities under the name Home Energy Savings Program.)