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Category: Green Living

Home energy upgrade with no money down

Home energy upgrade with no money down

Make your home more comfortable and energy efficient with a Community Power Works loan to fit your budget. Finance 100% of your home energy upgrade with no money down. It’s easy. When you apply to participate in the Community Power Works program, you can also apply for an affordable loan to finance your upgrade. Community Power Works partners with two local lenders: Craft3,  a local non-profit community lender, and Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU).

Craft3 Home Energy Efficiency Loan

Craft3 is a non-profit 501(c)3 community development financial institution that has been strengthening economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities for 19 years. Since 2009, Craft3 has provided energy efficiency loans to over 3,000 business and property owners in Washington and Oregon. Craft3 believes reducing carbon emissions, expanding ‘green collar’ jobs, and lowering energy costs create economic and ecological resilience.

Craft3 offers Seattle homeowners no-fee Home Energy Efficiency Loans with a low fixed rate of 4.49% APR (or 3.49% for households earning up to 80% of the Area Median Income).

  • Same low fixed rate for all qualified applicants: 4.49% APR (or 3.49% APR for households earning up to 80% of the Area Median Income)
  • Loans from $1,500 to $30,000
  • Eligible credit scores as low as 590
  • Easy repayment on your Seattle City Light bill
  • Up to a 20 year term with no early payment fees
  • No fees, extra costs, or pre-payment penalties
  • Low impact on your monthly budget with payments based on loan amount

How to apply for the Craft3 loan

Visit the Craft3 website at www.craft3.org/borrow/cpw to apply or learn more about the Home Energy Efficiency Loan. For more information or to speak with a customer service representative, please contact Craft3 at [email protected] or toll-free at 1-888-231-2170. The Community Power Works loan is only available to owner-occupied homes at this time. Up to 4 units may be eligible and are encouraged to participate, though different qualifying terms and conditions may apply. read more

Your Home Energy Auditor May Be A Moisture Detective!

Your Home Energy Auditor May Be A Moisture Detective!

Many types of mold are harmless, but several have been found to produce serious health complications and/or compromise the quality and structure of the home. Home energy auditors can be a great resource by looking for signs of water damage during their inspection, which may indicate a mold or rot problem.

Whether you live in a brand new house or a mid-century fixer-upper, a home energy auditor can help identify the most cost-effective modifications for your unique home. Jonathan Brown, owner of Designnine Studio, a Community Power Works auditing company, has seen first-hand some of lesser-known benefits of the energy audit process. “Homeowners frequently report that they were able to learn a lot from having a simple energy audit of their home. It’s the collected knowledge our auditors possess that makes them so valuable,” reports Mr. Brown.

Some frequent questions an auditor may hear is, “Why is water forming on my windows? Do I need new windows?” The simple answer: it depends. Moisture in the air (water vapor) condenses to form water droplets on cool surfaces. This is known as the dew point. This is the same process that forms droplets on the outside of a cold glass of water. The extent that this condensation occurs in a home is a result of the relative humidity, air temperature, and ventilation. Single-paned windows are notorious for producing condensation because they do not offer the thermal barrier, or temperature gradient, that a double-paned window provides. read more

Energy Efficiency in the Naked City

Energy Efficiency in the Naked City

At Naked City Brewery, “it doesn’t matter where you’re going or where you’ve been; all that matters is great living and great beer.” Greenwood’s neighborhood brewery lives up to that ethos, and part of great living is being good stewards of the community and the environment. That’s why owners Don, Donald, and Bryan are so excited about their energy efficiency upgrade through Community Power Works for Small Business. Says Don, “No sales pitch needed! The upgrade just made sense.”

The three owners of Naked City worked with their landlord – Dave Sharp of New Sensations – and Community Power Works contractor Advanced Energy Management to upgrade the brewery’s lighting and HVAC system. Craig Christiansen, Operations Manager of AEM, says, “It’s a win-win when tenants approach their landlords to make energy efficiency happen.” The upgrades are projected to save nearly 38,000 kWh equivalent and $2,530 on energy bills each year. Incentives and rebates from Community Power Works and Seattle City Light totaled $11,760, and Dave Sharp worked with nonprofit triple bottom line lending partner Craft3 to finance the remaining project costs with a simple, low-interest loan.

In addition to its work with small businesses, AEM delivers energy efficiency solutions to Seattle homeowners as a Community Power Works certified contractor. Recently named Northwest Ductless Heat Pump Contractor of the Year, AEM works closely with Craft3 on commercial and residential projects.  Customers appreciate the availability of financing, particularly when projects include heat pumps and HVAC systems, because the loans are offset by significant energy savings. For these projects, Craft3 also helps support AEM’s and other contractors’ bottom line by providing up-front funds to cover the costs of materials and labor. read more

Energy Auditing is Serious Business for Former Clown: Simplicity Home Energy

Energy Auditing is Serious Business for Former Clown: Simplicity Home Energy

Before founding Simplicity Home Energy, Bob Greenspun performed over 1,000 shows with The Greatest Show On Earth.® A graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, Greenspun also worked a four-year stint at Seattle Children’s Hospital with Big Apple Circus Clown Care. Although clowning might seem like a far cry from his current day job, Greenspun frequently draws upon past experience as a Community Power Works energy auditor. “Sometimes when I’m in someone’s attic hanging from a rafter or balancing on a floor joist, I think to myself, ‘Man, I’m glad that I trained as an acrobat!’” said Greenspun.

Inspired by the stimulus-funded green energy and job initiatives in the early 2000s, Greenspun began his career as an independent energy auditor with real enthusiasm. He explained, “There are not many opportunities where everyone involved is a winner. These initiatives help everyone. Families become healthier. They save money and energy. There are also great opportunities for small businesses. This is positive for everyone.”

Greenspun sees Community Power Works as filling a void in the industry, providing non-biased communications to educate homeowners about the value of energy audits and upgrades. “Before Community Power Works,” he said, “there was no clear path to get the word out and communicate to folks without them feeling like they were getting sold on a project.” In addition to a lack of communication pathways, he noticed there was a need to streamline the process from energy audit to upgrade, and to ensure that rebates and financing options were easily accessible to all Seattle residents. “Community Power Works serves the essential purpose of being the hub for all of these things,” Greenspun said. read more

Community Power Works is a Seattle neighborhood-based building retrofit program that will achieve deep energy savings and create green jobs.