Homeowners will get option of 6-percent loan for energy efficient upgrades | TheUnion.com

Homeowners will get option of 6-percent loan for energy efficient upgrades

Nevada County officials say local homeowners will get the chance to apply for 6-percent interest loans through an energy efficiency program early next year, a development expected to create jobs across the county.

The home improvement loans will enable landowners to secure funding for approved upgrades, which could include double-paned windows or a more efficient water heater. They’d make loan payments when they pay their property tax twice each year, said Tina Vernon, the county’s treasurer and tax collector.

“It’s part of the bill,” Vernon added.

The loans are secured with a lien on each homeowner’s house. Borrowers seeking an unsecured loan for the same upgrades potentially face higher interest rates.

“This is really a win-win-win.”Tina VernonNevada County treasurer and tax collector

According to Vernon, local contractors approved to install the upgrades could get more business — a bonus other communities have seen through similar programs.

“This is really a win-win-win,” she said.

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors last week approved moving forward with the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, or PACE. Vernon’s office will now draft the necessary documents for implementing the program.

The board’s role stops after its creation of a special district, which allows homeowners within the county to apply for the loans. Applicants would work with mPower Placer, the third-party program administrator, to secure the loans, Vernon said.

The administrator, mPower Placer, is paid through a portion of the 6-percent loans. There is no cost to the county, Vernon added.

Businesses interested in becoming an approved contractor should contact mPower through their website, http://www.mpowerplacer.org.

Homeowners must wait another few months before the program is fully implemented to apply.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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