Home Performance Loans
Residential electric customers participating in the Home Performance with Energy Star program can finance the suggested energy efficiency improvements through our loan program. Please download a loan application to apply for the program. Please note, you can fill out the form using your computer but you must print it and sign the form.
You will receive a FREE energy efficiency score certificate for participating in the program!
Energy efficiency assessment by a certified contractor
Insulation (attic, walls, floor joists, duct work)
Sealing air leaks
Natural Gas Furnace (with air conditioner or heat pump)
Upgrade electric wiring to install insulation
Heat pump water heater
Solar Energy Loans (click on link for more details on requirements)
You can select your terms and interest rate by determining the length of your loan.
Up to 3 years: 1%
4 to 5 years: 3%
6 to 10 years: 5%
For electric customers with existing residential structures*
Detailed energy efficiency assessment by certified contractor ($250 – $400)
Minimum insulation requirements
Good credit history
DEED of Trust required
Subordination of loan only under special circumstances
No prepayment penalties
Residential: $15,000 maximum loan
*Loans are not available for new construction. A commercial loan program is available for other types of existing buildings.
**Single family homes are eligible. A duplex or a condominium could be eligible if it has three major walls exposed to outside conditions and more than 900 square feet of attic space. If the unit’s size ranges from 700 to 899 square feet, the customer is eligible for all the rebates if a qualified air conditioner or heat pump is installed.
Loan Participation Steps
- Complete the Home Performance with Energy Star assessment with a Columbia Water & Light certified contractor.
- Complete and submit the loan application (submit two pages). Please note, you can fill out the form using your computer but you must print it and sign the form.
- Once notified of loan approval proceed with the project. The loan qualification period lasts for six months.
- Make copies of all the invoices for your efficiency upgrades. Set up an appointment with the Home Performance contractor for a post-inspection. At this appointment, a Columbia Water & Light staff member will collect all the copies of the invoices. Your rebate application will be completed at this meeting and turned in for processing.
- You will be contacted two weeks after the post inspection to arrange an appointment to sign the loan papers.
- All people listed on the current warranty deed for the property at the loan signing appointment. Columbia Water & Light offices are located at City Hall, 701 E. Broadway, 4th floor.
- A photo ID (i.e. driver’s license) is required for each applicant.
- A Recorder’s Office fee of $27 (amount is subject to change) will be added to your final loan amount.
- You will receive the check for your loan at the end of this appointment. Your monthly payment for the loan will be added to your utility bill from the City of Columbia.
Efficiency Improvement Requirement
Building Assessment: must be completed by one of our Certified Home Performance Contractors. Due to the time and equipment needed for the assessment, it can cost $200 to $400. If you qualify for the loan program, you may finance the cost of the assessment with the loan.
Insulation Requirement: To maximize the efficiency of your energy improvements, the Home Performance Loan program requires insulation levels in key areas: Attic Insulation: R-38 required, Floor Insulation over unconditioned space: R-19 required, Crawl Space Walls OR Floors Above Crawl Space: R-10 required with vapor barrier covering the ground, Duct Insulation: R-13 required in unheated areas, Rim Joist Insulation: R-13 required.
Heating and Cooling Systems: Allows for replacement of a natural gas, propane or electric furnace — if it is installed along with a new central air conditioner with an efficiency rating of 14 SEER or higher.
Heat Pumps: All financed heat pumps must have minimum efficiency ratings of 15 SEER. Customers installing a high efficiency heat pump can sign up for a reduced electric rate during the months of October through May.
Windows and Doors: If new windows and doors are installed, they must be rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) with a minimum U-value of 0.30 and low E for windows to be eligible for a loan.
Duct Sealing: Requires an additional duct blaster test before and after the sealing is completed so the supply and return ducts to achieve the lowest leakage rate possible
Building and Envelope Sealing: During the blower door test, the contractor will identify sealing air leaks along the building envelope to achieve the lowest ACH (air changes per hour) possible.
Heat Pump Water Heaters: All financed heat pump water heaters must have a minimum energy factor of two. All water heaters must have a plumbing permit from the Protective Inspection division and a completed final inspection.
If you refinance your current home loan or sell your house, you will be required to pay off the Home Performance Loan.
Requesting Subordination: Requesting subordination of your Home Performance Loan generally takes at least two months. If you are refinancing your mortgage for a lower interest rate, shorter loan term, in order to maintain ownership of the home or borrow more money fora home improvement project, you could be eligible for subordination. A copy of the customer’s current credit score, the appraisal used for refinancing, a copy of the mortgage application and the Good Faith Estimate, and previous mortgage information will need to be submitted. The loan committee will review the subordination requests to determine if a customer is eligible. Please contact us if you have any questions about subordination (firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-874-7325).