Fort Collins is expanding its Epic Homes program with a higher cap on residential efficiency loans and a renewed focus on rental properties.
Epic Homes, launched in 2019 with funding from the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, is a one-stop-shop for home efficiency upgrades that includes free or discounted assessments, discounts, a network of participating contractors, financing options and real estate certification to document improvements. People who participate in the program can also participate in a Colorado State University study on how energy efficiency improvements affect indoor air quality.
Efficiency improvements also have the benefit of lowering utility bills and making homes more comfortable.
How Much Can Larimer County Residents Save?
“We’re really trying to make it streamlined, affordable, and straightforward so people can navigate what can be a pretty complicated process: trying to figure out what to do in your home to make it more comfortable, more efficient and healthier, ”said Fort Collins’ energy services manager, John Phelan, said.
“Every element of the program is designed to somehow remove the barriers that prevent people from doing this type of work,” added Phelan, such as lack of information, lack of time and lack of money.
The program recently obtained additional funding and offers loans of up to $ 50,000 with interest rates between 2.95% and 3.25%. Homeowners simply need to meet a minimum credit threshold.
How the program helps tenants in the Fort Collins area
In an effort to reach more rental properties, the program offers free rental property appraisals. Its leadership is particularly focused on reaching more properties with low to middle income tenants in 2021 and beyond. The city is promoting the program as a way for landlords to reduce tenant turnover and make their properties more comfortable for tenants. Homeowners must initiate the process.
For non-rentals, the home appraisal costs $ 60. The non-binding assessment includes an inspection of the furnace, water heater, windows, ducts and attic of the house; a blower door test to measure and identify air leaks; infrared camera images to show insulation defects; installing free energy and water saving products and choosing between more detailed or streamlined reporting efficiency upgrade options The program applies discounts on the cost of upgrades upgrades and connects homeowners with the appropriate contractors to perform the work.
For more information on Epic, check out fcgov.com/utilities/epichomes.
Epic Homes is designed for single family properties. Apartment dwellers might consider a free assessment of their home’s efficiency by the Larimer County Conservation Corps, which is available to homeowners and renters who are clients of Fort Collins Utilities and Loveland Water and Power.
These assessments include a basic inspection of your appliances, windows, toilets, and heating / air conditioning system. Staff can install items such as LED bulbs, water-efficient shower heads and aerators, smoke / carbon monoxide detectors, clotheslines and heavy-duty toilets. Visit larimer.org/ewd/young-adults/lccc/home-efficiency-assessment for more information or to schedule an assessment.
If you are an Xcel Energy customer, you may be eligible for one of Xcel’s residential or home service rebate programs. Find more information on this at co.my.xcelenergy.com/s/residential/home-rebates or co.my.xcelenergy.com/s/residential/home-services.
Powder Valley REA also offers a range of rebate programs for customers. Find more information on pvrea.coop/rebates.
Jacy Marmaduke covers government liability for Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Support his work and that of other Colorado journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.