WAMC News, New England News
11:14 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Energy Efficiency and Affordability Loan Program Announced

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a proposed rule on Tuesday to help rural homeowners and businesses deal with the upfront costs of energy efficiency modifications.

The proposed rule, according to the nation’s agriculture leader, would allow rural homeowners and businesses to make affordable energy improvements to homes and buildings.  Secretary Tom Vilsack says a primary obstacle is the upfront costs encountered by those who want to invest in energy efficiency.

Rural Electric Cooperatives would submit plans with their anticipated number of loans to the USDA. The federal agency would then provide the cooperatives with the funding for energy efficiency loans.  The program is based on an on-bill financing program coordinated by the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. President and CEO Mike Couick.

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Glenn English expects the greatest impact to  be on people who normally can least afford to invest in energy efficiency.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says there are three key reasons this loan program is important to rural America.

The USDA is seeking public comments on the proposed rule, which is currently funded at 250-million dollars.