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Energy efficient home improvements within reach with new St. Louis loan program

Among the projects available for loans through GreenHELP is installing solar energy panels.
Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

St. Louis is giving residents an incentive to make energy efficient home improvements: A new, low-interest loan program called GreenHELP.

The program aims to help homeowners make their houses more eco-friendly, which will also provide savings on utility bills. The loans are offered through the office of city of St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green.

Tyson Pruitt, spokesman for the St. Louis comptroller, said energy efficient updates are especially important for aging homes.

“The city of St. Louis has a lot of historic housing stock and houses may have been rehabbed in the past, but it may have been some time,” Pruitt said. “And so this loan program is a really great way for folks to be able to make updates to their home whether it’s new windows or new insulation, new HVAC, and really be able to use the loan to cover that or defray the cost and then start saving more on their utility bills.”

Pruitt said several improvement projects are eligible for the program, including:

  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning
  • doors and windows
  • Energy Star appliance replacement
  • solar panels
  • installation of insulation

St. Louis invested roughly $2 million in the program in 2016.
Residents who qualify could receive a loan of up to $15,000 per applicant with a 2.11 percent interest rate and up to 10 years to repay the loan.

While there is no minimum income requirement for the program, there are some basic qualifications that prospective applicants must meet. Applicants must be residents of St. Louis and have a credit score of 625 or above. The property has to be a single-family or two-family home, must be owner-occupied at the time of the loan, and current on all real estate and personal property taxes.

Pruitt said GreenHeLP will prioritize applications submitted by June 30.

“If people have been thinking about applying, or they’ve been thinking about systems they want to update, now is a great time to look into the GreenHELP program,” Pruitt said.

Applications turned in after July 1 will still be considered and processed if they meet qualifications and if funds are still available. For more information on the program, contact GreenHELP.

Follow Marissanne on Twitter: @marissanne2011

Marissanne is the afternoon newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.

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