Energy Efficiency Assistance

Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Energy Audits
A HERS energy audit is similar to a miles-per-gallon rating on a car and can identify the most cost-effective energy improvements to implement.  A HERS report is prepared by a trained RESNET Energy Rater. Factors such as insulation, appliance efficiencies, window types, local climate, and utility rates are used to rate the home and calculate energy costs. A HERS rating usually costs between $300 and $800.

A HERS Report Includes:

  • Overall Rating Index of the house as it is.
  • Recommended cost-effective energy upgrades.
  • Estimates of the cost, annual savings, and useful life of upgrades.
  • Improved Rating Index after the installation of recommended upgrades.
  • Estimated annual total energy cost for the existing home before and after upgrades.

A Rating Index is between 1 and 100. A lower index indicates greater efficiency. Cost-effective upgrades are those which will save more money through energy savings than they cost to install.

More information and a list of RESNET raters can be found at http://www.resnet.us/energy-rating

Dominion East Ohio Home Performance with Energy Star
Dominion East Ohio’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program through GoodCents has been designed to help it’s residential customers improve their homes’ energy efficiency. A home performance assessment, or energy audit, is the first step in improving a home’s efficiency and reducing energy consumption through this program. The subsidized cost for the home performance assessment is $50 (retail value $500).

During the assessment, which can last up to 4 hours, a GoodCents BPI certified auditor will use advanced diagnostic equipment to conduct a comprehensive assessment of your home’s energy efficiency. Through this energy efficiency assessment the auditor will gather information regarding the existing condition of your home and identify areas of improvement.

The auditor will explain what improvements can be made and present you with a report containing the results of the assessment. The auditor can also provide you with information on how to select a participating contractor in your area should you choose to complete the recommended improvements and take advantage of up to $1,250 in rebates offered through this program. To qualify for rebates through the program, you must use a GoodCents BPI certified auditor for the assessment and a participating contractor when making improvements.

For more details and to sign up go to: http://deohpwes.com/how-the-program-works/ or call 1(877)287-3416

Easy Cool Rewards Program
This program helps ease peak demand for electricity on the hottest summer days. Participants in this new program will receive a professionally-installed Honeywell programmable thermostat (a $250 value) that can help you reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to 15 percent.

Residential customers of The Illuminating Company with a central air conditioner unit in good working condition can participate in the program. Window and wall air conditioners do not qualify for the program.

To enroll or find out more, call 1-888-243-0992 or visit http://energysaveohio-home.com/easy-cool-rewards/

Incentives for Renewable Energy

Federal Tax Credit
A taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures for a renewable energy system placed into service before December 31, 2016 at a personal residence. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year, at least through 2016. Qualified systems include Solar-electric, solar hot water, fuel cells, small wind, and geothermal heat pumps. See http://energy.gov/savings/residential-renewable-energy-tax-credit for more information.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS)
One SREC is created for every megawatt-hour of solar electricity. The SREC is sold separately from the electricity and represents the "solar" aspect of the electricity that was produced. The value of an SREC is determined by the market subject to supply and demand constraints. SRECs can be sold to electricity suppliers needing to meet their solar Renewable Portfolio Standard requirement.  See www.srectrade.com/srec_markets/ohio for more information.

Solarize Cleveland
Environmental Health Watch and Sustainable Cleveland 2019 have teamed up with World Wildlife Fund and Geostellar to offer solar energy to Ohioans at a dramatically discounted rate. You can have solar panels installed on your home, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money on your electric bills, possibly with no out-of pocket expenses if your savings exceed your payments.

Go to www.solarizecleveland.com and enter your address. The promotional code "Cleveland" will be automatically applied to provide you with a special discount rate if you enter an address from Northeast Ohio.  If you create an online Solar Home Profile you can choose how much electricity to offset with solar panels, and see how much you save with various financing options. Next, a helpful Solar Guide will work with you to further explore your financing, equipment, and installation options using local installers.

Call Geostellar toll free at 1(844)38-SOLAR for a free consultation. For more information, visit the website, or call Environmental Health Watch at (216)961-4646 x 107.

ECO-Link Loan
ECO-Link is a partnership between the State Treasurer of Ohio and participating state banks that provides a 3% interest  rate reduction for five or seven years on  bank loans when completing  energy-efficient upgrades in your home, including weatherization and solar installations. The maximum loan amount the interest rate reduction can be applied to is $50,000. A homeowner can opt for a seven-year rate reduction if the loan is for more than $25,000.

To find out more, go to http://www.tos.ohio.gov/ECOLINK

Energy Mortgage Refinance
Energy mortgages basically fall into 2 main categories: energy efficient mortgages (EEM) and energy improvement mortgages (EIM). The differences between these 2 types of energy mortgages are as follows:

Energy Efficient Mortgage
An energy efficient mortgage enables homebuyers to finance and include cost-effective energy saving measures as part of their mortgage. They are used towards purchasing a new home that is already deemed an energy efficient home, and allow borrowers to qualify for larger loans to upgrade to more energy efficient homes. Homebuyers must first get an energy rating on the home in order to qualify for an energy efficient mortgage.

Energy Improvement Mortgage
Energy improvement mortgages are targeted towards homeowners planning on making energy efficiency improvements to their existing homes. The costs for these improvements are accounted for in the mortgage so borrowers aren’t confronted with the prospect of a larger down payment. Qualification for an energy improvement mortgage also requires an energy rating.

In addition to the standard types of energy mortgages, there is also the ENERGY STAR Mortgage program. ENERGY STAR mortgages are similar to EEMs and offer consumers lower borrowing costs for financing ENERGY STAR certified homes, or for energy efficiency improvements being made to existing homes through a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program or a Weatherization Assistance Program.

Energy mortgages are available through a number of conventional lenders. In order to qualify, an energy rating needs to be done on the home first. Find more information on how to get an energy mortgage at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/eem/eemhog96 .  A list of lenders can be found at https://www.mortgageloan.com/eem-lenders

Energy Assistance for Low Income Residents

HEAP, E-HEAP, PIPP Plus, and the Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP)
HEAP, E-HEAP, PIPP PLUS, and HWAP are federally funded programs administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). Call the state office at 1-800-282-0880 for more information. Applications may be downloaded at http://www.development.ohio.gov/files/is/HEAPApp.pdf, picked up at the Office of Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer - Transfer & Recording Department, 2079 E. 9th Street, 4th Floor, Cleveland Ohio, 44115 or filled out at Cleveland Housing Network or the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland. For an appointment  to enroll in PIPP Plus, HEAP or E-HEAP, call the Cleveland Housing Network at (216)518-4014 or the Council for Economic Opportunity in Greater Cleveland at (216)518-4014. For HWAP call the City of Cleveland at (216) 664-2045.

HEAP is designed to help eligible low-income Ohioans meet the high costs of home heating. HEAP pays a one-time payment for most PUCO-regulated utility customers reflecting their usage for the current winter heating season. The total household income of an applicant must be at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. HEAP is also available for summer cooling.

Emergency Heap (E-HEAP)  is a special program that occurs twice a year during summer months and winter months for residents who have a threat of disconnect, are disconnected or have less than a ten-day supply of bulk fuel. In the summer fans and air conditioners are available to eligible applicants.

The Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP PLUS) allows eligible First Energy and Dominion Ohio customers to make affordable monthly energy payments on a year-round basis. When a PIPP Plus household pays its monthly PIPP Plus payment on-time and in-full, some of their old debt and the rest of that month’s bill goes away in the form of a credit on their utility account. You must have a gross yearly household income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. If you are not eligible based on the 12-month “test,” you may qualify for PIPP Plus based on your income for the most recent three months. Electric and natural gas customers who qualify pay $10 or 6 percent of their gross monthly household income, whichever is greater, to the utility company each month. If you're no longer income-eligible for PIPP or if you voluntarily leave the program, the PIPP Repayment Program can help you gradually pay off your total overdue amount.

The Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) provides grants for weatherization repairs. Services include attic, wall and basement insulation; blower-door-guided air leakage reduction; heating system repairs or replacements; and health and safety testing and inspections. All measures are provided based on an on-site energy audit and on cost-effective guidelines developed using the NEAT computerized energy audit. The program is available to both homeowners and tenants. A household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines is required.

Dominion East Ohio Energy Share
Dominion East Ohio Energy Share is a Dominion East Ohio sponsored fuel assistance program of last resort designed to help individuals and families pay any type of winter heating bill - gas, wood, oil, kerosene or electricity. To be eligible for Dominion East Ohio Energy Share, the applicant must live within the company’s service area, have a shutoff notice and must have exhausted other state and federal fuel assistance resources. Seniors, age 60 and older, do not have to have a shutoff notice. For assistance, you should contact your local Salvation Army office, or you can call Dominion East Ohio’s Customer Service Center at 1(800)362-7557, for the name of The Salvation Army office nearest you.

Housewarming
Funded by Dominion East Ohio, the Housewarming Program provides weatherization assistance to help eligible customers reduce their energy usage. The program provides free weather-stripping, attic and sidewall insulation, door sweeps and other insulation devices. Households that participate in PIPP or HEAP may automatically qualify for Housewarming. Cleveland Housing Network manages the Housewarming Program. For information, call 1(888)377-3774. An application is available at http://www.chnnet.com/media/documents/chn-collateral/client/2015-hwmg-application.pdf

Community Connections Program
First Energy’s Community Connections Program can help you reduce your electric bill and keep your home more comfortable in both winter and summer. Homeowners and renters with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty level with high electric bills are eligible for the program. No payment is required for these services/installations for qualified customers. Depending on your electricity usage, Community Connections could provide you with an in-home energy use evaluation and energy-saving home improvements such as:

  • Sealing air leaks in attic walls or foundations
  • Attic and/or wall insulation
  • Appliance testing and possible replacement
  • Electric water heater inspection
  • Faucet aerators
  • Energy education

Specific improvements you are eligible to receive will be determined during your home energy evaluation. Visit an HWAP service provider in your area such as Cleveland Housing Network, phone (216)574-7100 to complete an application. http://www.chnnet.com/electric-conservation.aspx