Patrick-Murray Administration Lauds Success of Nation-leading Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program
BOSTON - May 12, 2011 - Noting the importance of making energy efficiency upgrades affordable as the Commonwealth advances toward the Patrick-Murray Administration's nation-leading energy efficiency targets, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today marked the success of an interest-free loan program designed to help residential customers make energy efficiency improvements.
Massachusetts Mass Save® Residential HEAT Loan Program lenders issued the largest total dollar amount for energy efficiency loans in the country in 2010, over $27.5 million in energy efficiency loans, up 45 percent over 2009, according to a DOER report released today. Last year, 3,416 residential customers took out HEAT loans to pay for efficiency measures, up 40 percent over 2009.
"This highly successful residential loan program has already helped make energy efficiency upgrades possible in over 8,000 homes over the past five years," said Commissioner Sylvia. "I congratulate the Mass Save Sponsors for this program, which helps residential customers save money while reducing their energy use."
The HEAT Loan Program provides zero-interest loans for the installation of qualified energy-efficient improvements in Massachusetts homes and rental properties. It is offered through a partnership between local lenders and the Mass Save Sponsors, the state's investor-owned gas and electric utilities and the Cape Light Compact, to their residential customers. The program is one of the largest residential energy efficiency lending initiatives in the nation and serves as the sponsors' primary tool to overcome the "first cost" barrier to adopting energy efficiency upgrades - the initial capital outlay.
Residents use the funds to finance energy efficiency projects, from improvements such as insulation and programmable thermostats, to larger upgrades such as high efficiency boilers and hot water heaters.
Participating lenders have financed over $62.5 million in personal unsecured energy efficiency loans and served over 8,000 households since the program was established in 2006. Average loan sizes have risen steadily over time, reaching $8,080 in 2010, up from $6,860 in 2006. The program is on track to exceed $85 million in cumulative lending by calendar year end 2011.