Plano Homeowners Can Get Loans for Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Loans help homeowners pay for "green" renovations

By Catherine Ross
|  Thursday, Apr 12, 2012  |  Updated 4:07 PM CDT
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Going green means spending cash now for savings down the road, but Plano is offering homeowners loans if they'll make energy-saving upgrades to their homes.

Catherine Ross, Collin County Reporter

Going green means spending cash now for savings down the road, but Plano is offering homeowners loans if they'll make energy-saving upgrades to their homes.

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Plano is partnering with a credit union to get homeowners loans for energy-efficient upgrades.

The city and Credit Union of Texas has loans available for up to $20,000.

"You can get a rate that's more like a home equity or real estate rate, but it's basically a personal loan," said credit union lending manager Chris Murphy.

Program coordinator Michelle Long said the Smart Energy Loan Program began with an influx of federal stimulus money. It was inspired by a similar city-credit union partnership in Austin.

"We thought a home energy loan would be a really good resource," she said.

The city hopes to lower energy usage by helping homeowners find resources to upgrade their windows, appliances and even heating and cooling systems.

"We want to reduce utility bills," Long said. "I think the cooling bills are probably the largest utility bills our homeowners receive."

Loan approval requires an energy, audit and the city of Plano has a list of approved contractors and auditors on its website.

According to city estimates, the program could provide up to $7 million in value to more than 1,300 residents over the next 10 years.

"We want to offer them services other cities can't to not only keep them in Plano but keep people moving into Plano as well," Long said.

The city and Credit Union of Texas are offering a free information session 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the credit union's Plano location. More information can also be found on the city's website.

More: Smart Energy Loans

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