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CUs offer energy loans in tough summer
MADISON, Wis. (8/22/12)--Record-setting summer heat has brought not only increased energy costs but additional wear and tear on appliances such as air conditioners and on homes' electrical circuits. Credit unions have launched loan initiatives to help their members finance the additional costs associated with the hot summer.

To help pay for energy efficiency upgrades, members of Elevations CU, Boulder, Colo., have access to a new suite of loans.

The program for businesses and homeowners is a part of the Elevations Energy Loan, which is the result of a partnership with Boulder EnergySmart and the Denver Energy Challenge.

The initiative is designed to provide property owners with a financing mechanism that is easy to access and cost effective, allowing for the installation of energy upgrades and improvements, the credit union said. Loan rates for energy upgrades and improvement on residential properties start at a 2.75% annual percentage rate (APR). Commercial rates start at a 3.75% APR.

With several terms, the Energy Loan Program extends the benefits beyond short term rebates, making almost any upgrade affordable, the credit union said.

In Maine, about 70% of credit unions offer some type of specific loan to finance home weatherization or steps to make homes more energy efficient, according to a survey conducted by the Maine Credit Union League (Weekly Update July 6).

Of the Maine credit unions that offer energy efficiency loans, rates range from 3% to 9%, with an average rate of 5%.


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