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Last call for low-cost energy audits from federal stimulus money

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio

A federal program that tries to get homeowners to invest in energy efficient home improvement projects is nearly over.

The program provides a detailed home energy audit for a super low price. Homeowners who want to make improvements based on the audit can take out a low interest loan.

Sara Potyraj shows off the new insulation in the attic of her 85-year old home in Grand Rapids. She got a low interest loan for about $9,000 through a federal program in the spring. It paid for a new furnace, central air conditioning, and a bunch of other improvements.

“I was amazed with that. I’m excited to see my heat bill now for the winter,” Potyraj laughed.

Without the loan Potyraj says there’s no way she could’ve afforded the investments.

That’s the idea behind the program. But the federal stimulus money that’s funding it is almost gone. So program organizers are urging Michigan homeowners to take advantage of it while it lasts.

Jacob Corvidae is co-director of the Southeast Michigan regional energy office.

"Everyone knows this is a good idea but can you afford it and how hard is it going to be? How much of a hassle? And this just makes it a whole lot easier,” Corvidae said.

Corvidae says the federal program provides rebates for certain improvements and a list of creditable contractors to do the work.

So far, more than 4,000 Michigan homeowners have taken advantage of the program. The $30 million the federal stimulus package allotted to the Michigan programs has nearly run out.

Corvidae and other organizers are encouraging people to take advantage of the program while it lasts.

Through it, homeowners can find reliable sources for information, lower their energy bills, make their house more comfortable and safe.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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