Loan Program Questions Answered
I heard there were changes made in what could be financed with Dollar and Energy Saving loans – as well as other changes – after February 1, 2007. What were those changes?
The changes are as follows:
What construction features show program compliance for sashes, garage doors and commercial windows?
Replacement Appliances (Form 1). Any of the appliances listed on Form 1 must be ENERGY STAR® certified to be eligible for a loan. Dehumidifiers and room heat pumps were added as energy efficiency improvements as well as certain commercial appliances such as steam cookers, fryers, hot food holding cabinets and refrigerators and/or freezers.
- Door, Window, Wall and Ceiling improvements (Form 2). Replacement ENERGY STAR® certified skylights were added. Attic or ceiling insulation improvements are now separate improvements. If insulation is being added to existing insulation, an additional R-30.0 is needed. If the existing insulation is being removed and replaced with new insulation, an R-49.0 would have to be installed. Windows, glass doors and 1/2-lite or more sidelites for all residential units must use NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) Measured Performance test data and show a whole unit R-value equal to or greater than 3.03. Demonstrating compliance with program requirements for garage doors, commercial windows, and sashes only may be done with the construction features of the unit, the type of glazing, fill gas & frame for sashes and commercial windows, and the type of core and lites for garage doors. Copies of manufacturer's documents showing compliance must be submitted with an application and the contractor's bid for the proposed units to be installed and must clearly identify and agree with the supporting documents.
- Heating, Cooling and Water Heating improvements (Form 3). The minimum efficiency requirements are more specific for the size or type of cooling, heating or water heating unit being installed or size of pipe being insulated. The requirements are specified on the Form 3. Heat or energy recovery ventilators and fireplace inserts were added as improvements that could be financed. The types of tapes, mastics or adhesives which can be used to seal ductwork must be UL181A or UL181B rated and heat pumps have to be installed with a ramp-up type thermostat especially designed to bring on backup heat in stages, and only when the heat pump can no longer keep up with demand. The thermostat must be able to differentiate between a demand call and a "return from setback" call for heat.
- Lighting Improvements (Form 4). ENERGY STAR® certification determines the eligibility for compact fluorescents, exit signs, residential light fixtures, traffic signals and ceiling fans. The last three are new additions.
- Home Electronics and Office Equipment (Form 9). This new category added ENERGY STAR® certified home electronics such as battery charging systems, cordless phones, answering machines and combination units, digital video disc products, external power adapters (power supplies or battery chargers), home audio equipment, televisions and video cassette recorders. ENERGY STAR® certified office equipment that can be financed includes computers and laptops, copiers, external power adapters (power supplies or battery chargers), fax machines, mailing machines, monitors, multifunction devices, printers, scanners and water coolers. Other ENERGY STAR® certified home electronics and office equipment may also be eligible for loans if verified at http://www.energystar.gov. The maximum loan limits for home electronics is $10,000 and $25,000 for office equipment.
For program compliance for sashes and commercial windows, the construction features are: glazing with at least two panes, one of which has a soft coat low-e coating less than 0.05; fill gas of argon, krypton, carbon dioxide, SF6 or some combination of these; and a frame of wood or vinyl, or aluminum with thermal breaks through all members.
For program compliance for garage doors, the construction features are: a core material which has an insulating value of at least R-8.0 and, if there are lites, the lites are double glazed and cover no more than 10 percent of the door surface area.