Maximum loan of $15,000
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA); State Energy Program
Note: The eligible technologies listed above are only examples of some improvements that might be supported under this program. Other improvements may be eligible.
Under the Be SMART Homes program, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development offers loans to homeowners for energy efficiency retrofit projects in their primary residence. The program offers unsecured loans of up to $15,000 with terms of 3, 5, or 10 years. Interest rates vary depending on which type of loan a homeowner chooses:
- Be SMART Home Energy Star, which supports appropriate heating and cooling and purchases of Energy Star appliances, has a 6.99% interest rate.
- Be SMART Home Complete, which supports a wide variety of efficiency improvements based on the results of a required energy audit, has a 4.99% rate.
Participants of either loan option must work with a program-approved weatherization contractor. In addition, in order to qualify for a loan, residents must have a credit score of at least 640, a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less, and have their income level verified.
Separate energy efficiency loan programs exist under the Be SMART initiative for energy efficiency in multi-family buildings and business properties. Please see the program web site for additional details.
This program is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) [http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/betterbuildings/neighborhoods/ Better Buildings Program]. The DOE has awarded over $500 million in federal funds to more than 40 states, local governments, and organizations to administer local programs targeting a variety of building types. Combined, these local programs are expected to improve the efficiency of more than 170,000 buildings through 2013 and save up to $65 million in energy costs annually.