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Rep. Petersen Bill Would Allow Repayment of Energy Upgrades on Utility Bills

Bill would make it easier for Alaskans to pay off loans for upgrades that lower their energy bills

JUNEAU – Rep. Pete Petersen introduced legislation this week to allow Alaskans to pay off home energy upgrades with the savings they earn on their utility bills from the improvements.

“With energy costs as high as they are these days, we need to do everything we can to make it easier for Alaskans to make their homes more efficient and lower their energy bills,” said Rep. Petersen.

The bill (HB 334) would allow energy utilities to partner with third party lenders to make loans available to their customers for energy efficiency improvements and to allow customers to repay these loans through installments on their regular utility bills. Individuals and business can achieve significant long term savings from upgrading the energy efficiency of their homes, buildings, and appliances, but high up-front costs too often make these efficiency improvements hard to afford. 

“Too often, the up-front costs of energy retrofits prevent Alaskans from making the improvements,” said Rep. Petersen. “If we can make it easier for Alaskans to finance those up-front costs, we can help more people lower their energy bill for years to come.”

In order to qualify for one of these loans, customers would need to have their property inspected by an energy rater, and they must use the loan to pay for improvement recommended by the rater using a rating system approved by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.

These loan programs would complement the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s successful Home Energy Rebate program and the Alaska Energy Authority’s new Commercial Energy Audit program, by providing a convenient financing option to pay for the costs not reimbursed by these programs.

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