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Wednesday, December 01, 20107168 views

Rising energy costs are hitting everyone. Yet there are practical things that we can do to make our homes more comfortable while using less energy and saving money.

Learning how to make our homes more comfortable has never been easier; affordable financing, made available through Salt Lake County's Energy Smart Loans and Grants, provides each of us a way to bring about energy efficient home improvements today.

Beginning with a whole house energy assessment, certified contractors will review the age and condition of your furnace, water heater, air conditioner and other major appliances. They will also conduct a blower door test that assesses the amount of air leaking from your home through doors, windows and other poorly sealed accesses to your home.

With a completed energy assessment in hand, an Energy Smart representative will meet with you to review where energy is being wasted within your home and to identify your home's critical energy needs. Contractor bids will then be obtained giving you an idea of the project's full cost.

With an idea of the project's full cost, an Energy Smart representative will review with you the financing options available with an Energy Smart Loan or Grant. Low interest Energy Smart Loans are available to all homeowners within Salt Lake County for amounts varying from $2,000 to $50,000 on a term of 2 to 10 years.

A low interest Energy Smart Loan will cover the full cost of your home improvement with annual financing costs structured to be less than your annual energy savings. Once the energy home improvements have been completed, you may begin to see energy savings of at least $700 per year on a home built before 1980.

Energy Smart Grants are available to income qualifying homeowners who live within one of Salt Lake County's unincorporated communities of Copperton, Emigration, Kearns, Magna, Millcreek and White City. Energy Smart Grants can award up to $4,000 and are an excellent option for homeowners who need to replace an old furnace or other major appliance.

Also, you may have noticed that renewable energy technology is rapidly improving, resulting in many practical and cost effective possibilities that were once unaffordable. Energy Smart Loans can finance the purchase and installation of renewable energy improvements such as photovoltaic solar panels, solar thermal panels, wind turbines and geo exchange systems, all of which will enhance your quality of life while making our communities more livable.

You can learn more about renewable energy and other cost effective energy saving ideas by visiting one of the county's several Idea Houses. These Idea Houses are demonstration projects created with the goal in mind to give you energy saving ideas and resources. After visiting an Idea House, you will be able to walk away with several tips to make your home more comfortable today.

So, why wait any longer? Begin your path to increased savings and greater comfort by visiting our website at energysmartsaltlakecounty.org or by calling an Energy Smart representative at (801) 994-7222.

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