I’ve heard this a few times since I started talking with customers online over the past year, “I’d love to be more energy efficient, but I don’t know where to start and how to pay for it.”
I think a lot of people are in the same boat. You know your windows are drafty and that your heating unit is on its last leg or that your insulation doesn’t exist – but how does all that, coupled with your energy usage and budget, get you to be more energy efficient?
It’s complicated stuff to be sure. But, if you’re an Avista customer in Spokane County, starting in 2010, we’ve got an uncomplicated solution for you.
Just today Avista announced we received $1 million of stimulus funding from the State of Washington Department of Commerce Credit Enhancement Program to establish a low-interest revolving loan fund to help customers make recommended energy efficiency improvements to their homes and small businesses. Partnering with Avista to establish the revolving loan fund is Sustainable Local Investments Partners (SLIP), who will provide administrative services, process facilitation and outcome reporting.
This program is unlike some of the stimulus-funded programs awarded recently to Avista and other utilities across the country. When most stimulus funds are spent, they are gone for good. Not this program; it’s set up to be around a while and as customers repay loans, the money is returned, allowing for further investment by other customers.
Interested customers will start with a commercial energy audit currently offered by Avista or in a new home audit program which the company will launch early 2010. The City of Spokane, City of Spokane Valley and Spokane County are partners in the audit program. Avista is matching nearly $700,000 pledged by the governments to help offset a portion of the costs to you. The audits will provide you with an analysis of ways to make your home more energy efficient and will alert you to Avista rebates and federal energy tax credits for which you may qualify.
We’ll have more on the revolving loan and energy audit programs in early 2010 when all the details and processes are established.