Most homeowners are committed to making improvements in their home. Why wouldn’t they? It can maintain or improve the value of the home, improves the aesthetic feel of the home and can even save money over time. With the new trend to “go green” many homeowners have begun to make environmentally conscious choices for home improvement products. By reducing the amount of energy consumption, they can save money while playing an integral role in helping the environment.
Not everyone is dedicated to the “green” movement as others. Many homeowners have looked into buying energy efficient appliances or adding new, environmentally friendly products to their homes only to realize the additional costs involved with the process. The truth is, energy efficient product may save the homeowner money over time, but the expense to purchase such items may not be feasible for most homeowners. Upgrades such as energy efficient windows, solar panels, recycled roofing materials and a new type of insulation in the attic, all cost a substantial amount of money. So while many desires to make improvements that protect the environment while saving money on energy bills, this economy has left many without the funds to pay for such upgrades.
The Energy Efficient Mortgage Program
For the past ten years, The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has provided a program that helps homeowners fund purchases for energy conserving products for their homes. The Energy Efficient Mortgage Program (EEMP) has recently begun to get more attention from homeowners wanting to make environmentally friendly home improvements. The idea is that the EEMP will allow homeowners currently under a FHA or VA loan to fold the costs of the improvements into their existing loans.
Under this program, homeowners would be able to borrow up to $8,000, or 5 percent of the home’s value, whichever is larger; in order to pay for the upgrades. The borrowed amount is eligible to be rolled into a 15 or 30 year FHA or VA loan, without adding additional costs to the loan. The funding is available for improvement such as insulating an attic, replacing a furnace or cooling system, replacing windows and doors, repairing/replacing hazardous roof materials, or installing solar panels.
Qualifying For EEMP
The program outlines specific rules for homeowners as to which types of products can be used and who qualifies as an approved contractor. The idea is to control the type of improvements being made to ensure the products being used meet the industry standard for energy and environmentally friendly. Eligibility for the program requires that the projected energy savings is greater than the cost of the work, which is determined by comparing the calculated average of energy used by the home before and after the improvements are made.