Green Mortgage? | Letters | Chicago Reader

Green Mortgage? 

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Thank you for highlighting the opportunities for home owners to increase the energy efficiency of their older homes ["How Much Green Does It Take to Go Green?" March 18]. Every year thousands of home owners make home improvements without considering how these projects can help lower the operating costs and improve the comfort of their homes. Our experience suggests that too few property owners realize how economical energy-efficient repairs can be. In most cases the incremental cost of including energy-smart repairs in a typical rehab plan is below $3,000, while the expected utility savings exceed $400 per year. When this extra cost is financed as part of a 30-year loan, the energy savings can provide a monthly windfall to home owners. To promote energy-smart rehab, ShoreBank, in partnership with Northern Illinois Energy Project and Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, will soon be launching a new loan program to connect home owners to the expertise, financing, and incentives to encourage property owners to consider energy efficiency when completing significant rehab projects. Our experience in providing individuals with access to the resources needed to purchase and renovate more than 43,000 affordable residences in Chicago and across the nation has demonstrated that property owners are willing to make recommended improvements. However, several barriers often prevent people from taking action. While access to financing is certainly one, so too is lack of information about the costs and benefits of these repairs and having the relevant information in a format and at a time that facilitates good decisions. We believe ShoreBank's new loan program will help lay the groundwork for others to follow the Sullivans' lead and result in energy-efficient, affordable housing in Chicago and, hopefully, other neighborhoods across the country as well.

Jack Crane

Senior vice president

ShoreBank

James Cavallo

Executive director

Illinois Association of Energy Raters

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