This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 15, 2003

Seattle Bank Offers Mortgage Financing for Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient products nearly always pay for themselves-often in a short period of time-but when new homeowners are out buying appliances, the price premium on the high-efficiency models often leads them to buy the less-expensive model that will cost them more in the long run. In an attempt to overcome that shortsighted view, HomeStreet Bank and the Efficiency Services Group (ESG) are now offering homeowners a way to use their mortgage to finance energy efficiency improvements. Through the "Mortgage Options for Resource Efficiency" (MORE) program, homeowners can add $4,000 to their mortgage and have the funds placed in an escrow account. An energy specialist from ESG, a division of Portland General Electric, will then perform an energy analysis to determine which upgrades make the most sense. The homeowner can then choose from a menu of energy-efficiency options, including lighting, appliances, water-saving devices, and weatherization measures. Unused funds are applied to the principal on the mortgage. See the HomeStreet Bank press release and the MORE program Web site.

Are you wondering what incentives for energy efficiency might exist in your area? Well, stop wondering and visit the new database created by the National Energy Affordability and Accessibility Project (NEAAP). The database lists such incentives as energy-efficiency audits, rebates, and low-interest loans. See the NEAPP Residential Energy Efficiency Database.