The city of San Diego and San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union launched a low-interest loan program this week for residents to make energy efficient upgrades to their homes.
The credit union will offer homeowners loans of up to $25,000 to make improvements that could produce immediate and significant reductions to their home energy bills, according to the city.
"There's simply no more cost-effective way to reduce your energy costs than by reducing use," Mayor Jerry Sanders said. "And for those who are considering installing solar panels, making your home energy-efficient greatly reduces the size of the solar system you need to buy, saving a considerable amount there, as well."
SDMCU will offer interest rates starting at just under 5 percent for loans running up to 15 years. City officials believe such terms will allow homeowners to see immediate monthly net savings.
The city will use a $1.2 million reserve fund, part of a 2009 federal energy conservation grant, to backstop the credit union against any losses, and allow more residents to qualify.
The credit union anticipates making 20,000 loans for a total of $20.5 million in the initial phase of the program.
Details of the program are online here.
-City News Service