Energy Group Passes Milestones with Loan program

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Energy Conservation Works (ECW) announced that they have completed over 80 energy efficiency loans with Lower Valley Energy members since the program’s inception in 2012. As a result they have helped home owners invest over $750,000 in the comfort, value, and efficiency of their homes, financing over $600,000 of the improvements. Through the program, owners have also secured over $30,000 in rebates from Lower Valley Energy. "It’s exciting to see more and more homeowners taking advantage of this program and the many resources ECW and Lower Valley Energy offer to make efficient choices easier," said ECW’s Executive Director Phil Cameron. "ECW’s recent milestone represents a 60% increase in program participation since last fall. The past month alone, was the busiest since the program launched and we want that to continue that by letting the community know that we are here to help." ECW’s Residential Loan Program helps local residents save energy and reduce their power bill by making affordable changes to their homes. Loaning these funds to Teton and Lincoln County LVE members was enabled through state legislation championed by local state legislators, and funded through $1.5 million loan through the Wyoming State Energy Office. The program is the first of its kind in the state. After receiving a home energy audit, LVE member Janet Munro completed an energy make-over at her Jackson home that included replacing windows and doors, a new heating system, and digital thermostats. Munro said, “I think it's an absolutely amazing program. It's difficult enough to purchase a home here, so to receive such generous support from ECW and LVE to make our homes more efficient is priceless. Without this efficiency loan program, I would not have been able to make the upgrades that were desperately needed in my home." Munro was the 80th homeowner to participate in the program. The loans cover a wide range of projects, including upgrades to windows, doors, insulation, weatherproofing, and heating systems. They also cover solar systems and other projects with energy saving potential. The program operates on three graduated borrowing levels: 0% interest up to $7,500, 1.5% up to $10,000, and 2.5% up to $20,000. In order to qualify, LVE members must have an audit completed on their home and have an ECW team member check their payment history with LVE. With the project completed and all paperwork submitted, the member then pays the project costs back on their utility bill over 5 years. Currently, local residents pay the lowest electricity rates all the electric cooperatives in the country, just 6 cents a kilowatt hour (kWh). The national average is 12 cents, and some states pay as high as 30 cents a kWh. Energy usage in Teton county is even more interesting: the average US home uses 958 kwh’s per month, Wyoming’s average is 883 kWh’s, and in Teton County we use ~1800 kWh’s on average monthly. LVE’s territory will only continue to grow and our energy rates are guaranteed to rise to meet these increased demands. ECW operates under the notion that anytime homes, businesses or public buildings make basic efficiency improvements it helps to keep everyone’s rates low. *Feature Photo: h/t Energy Conservation Works / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news