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Funding and Incentives

Times are tough and financing energy efficiency improvements can stretch just about every budget. The good news is you may qualify for tax credits, utility rebates or low interest loans to make these improvements more affordable, but you need to know where to look. Keep in mind that depending on your circumstance, you may be eligible to receive multiple benefits. For example, you may be eligible for a utility rebate AND qualify to receive a Federal tax credit.

Note that some programs call for specific minimum efficiencies or quantities in order to qualify for a rebate. CCI strives to keep these references up to date, but it is important to remember that these programs may not last forever and that eligibility rules may be altered from time to time. CCI strongly recommends that you verify your eligibility, program availability and requirements before starting your energy efficiency projects.

A comprehensive resource for available incentives in PA is The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)


Utility Incentives

Increasingly, utilities are encouraging their rate payers to use energy more efficiently by offering services and financial incentives to help offset the cost of improvements. Some programs even offer a free energy audit of your home! 

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania

Audits & Rebates is an energy efficiency program for Columbia Gas residential heating customers having annual gross income that falls within program guidelines. The program helps customers to reduce their natural gas use by providing the following services and incentives:
  • A free whole-house energy audit and written report performed by a Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified auditor. (a $400 value)
  • If appropriate, installation of a free programmable thermostat. (a $100 value)
  • Rebates up to $1,800.
  • A free post-weatherization inspection of the home. (a $100 value)
  • As a special bonus, qualified customers applying for the program between September 1 and November 15, 2013 and who receive their FREE home energy audit by November 30, 2013 are automatically entered for a chance to win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card.

Click here for program and contest information or call CCI toll free: 1-877-376-2783

Duquesne Light Company

Duquesne Light's WATT CHOICES program offers a variety of energy efficiency rebates on items ranging from CFL's to ENERGY STAR appliances that help to reduce the up-front cost of those purchases while also conserving energy, reducing demand all while lowering electricity costs.

West Penn Power

West Penn Power's Act 129 Program to help customers learn more about saving energy and money. The program offers rebates, recycling programs, and home performance programs all designed to save you money and energy. For more information, call 1-877-928-8928.


Tax Incentives

You may be eligible to receive a tax credit on your federal income tax return for a wide range of home energy improvements, such as insulation, replacing old heating and air conditioning equipment with new energy efficient equipment, and installing solar-powered systems. Remember that tax credits are generally more valuable than tax deductions because they reduce the amount of tax you owe the government.

For more information, see the 2012-2013 Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency.


No/Low Interest Loans and Energy Efficient Mortgages

Citizens Bank offers a 3% APR Energy Efficiency Loan when borrowing between $1,000 and $3,000. The program is designed for low-to-moderate income homeowners. Applicants must live in a low or moderate income census tract or have income that is less than 80% of the area median income in the specific geography. Call 412-431-0200 for more information.

Keystone HELP is Pennsylvania's special low rate, low payment financing program for energy efficiency home improvements and geothermal heat pump systems. Keystone HELP is administered by AFC First Financial Corporation a Pennsylvania energy efficiency lender and offers a wide variety of loan options and terms to fit most needs.

Homeowners Energy Efficiency Loan Program (HEELP) offers loans between $1,000 and $10,000 for specific energy efficiency repairs, roof repairs or replacements at a fixed-rate of one percent (1%) for ten years with no prepayment penalties to income-qualified homeowners. Please contact PHFA at 800-822-1174 for more information.

MortgageLoan.com does a nice job of explaining Green Mortgages / Energy Efficient Mortgages and how they can make the costs associated with efficiency improvements quite affordable.

Susquehanna Bank offers mortgages that allow you to finance up to $50,000 of the cost of your energy efficient improvements for existing or new homes.

The URA of Pittsburgh offers a variety of home improvement loan products designed to assist you in the renovation or repair of your home. Income limits and program areas may apply. You must be a resident of the City of Pittsburgh to apply.

Total Mortgage Services now offers Energy Efficient and Energy Improvement Mortgages in Pennsylvania.  They've also created a Green Home Buying Guide to familiarize you with some of the advantages of owning energy efficient green homes.