After reviewing the audit report, you should solicit one or more proposals from Pepco Participating Contractors (if you are eligible for the Pepco Program) or Maryland Home Performance Participating Contractors (if you are not) for your desired improvements. You may schedule an appointment with the Energy Coach to review the proposal(s) together and discuss available incentives and financing tools, as applicable.
Phase 3: Improve
Select the Participating Contractor you want to make the improvements on your home. Then enter into a contract with your selected contractor, and set a date for your home improvements. Please let the Energy Coach know the name of the contracting firm you selected and the date of your scheduled improvements.
Click here for a chart that summarizes all currently available residential energy efficiency programs.
Click here for a chart that summarizes all the currently available incentives, rebates and credits for energy efficiency improvements.
a. STEP-UP Incentives
All STEP-UP participants are eligible for a STEP-UP incentive of $400 toward the cost of any energy efficiency improvements recommended in their energy audit report. The improvements should satisfy the minimum performance standards required to obtain an incentive for such item from Pepco or a federal tax credit. After completing the improvements, a participant should complete and submit the Request for STEP-UP Incentives form to claim this incentive.
In addition, STEP-UP participants who are not eligible for the Pepco Program may request incentives from STEP-UP of up to $300 toward the cost of their home energy audit, as well as incentives of comparable value to what Pepco provides for making energy efficiency improvements. After completing the audit and receiving the audit report, an eligible participant may obtain the STEP-UP audit incentive by completing and submitting the Request for STEP-UP Incentives form, along with the required documentation indicated therein. And, after making the improvements and receiving the test-out form, an eligible participant may obtain the STEP-UP improvements incentive (and the audit incentive, if not previously claimed) by completing and submitting the Request for STEP-UP Incentives form along with the required documentation indicated therein.
b. Pepco Incentives for Energy Efficiency Improvements
Pepco provides a number of incentives to Pepco Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Audit Program participants for improving a home’s energy efficiency. In addition to enabling Pepco Program participants to receive a reduced-price whole-house energy audit (as discussed in Phase 1, Step 3), Pepco will provide the following incentives:
- 15% of the cost of air sealing (provided air leakage is reduced by at least 20%) *
- 15% of the cost of attic insulation, attic knee wall insulation, and wall (including rim joist, crawl space and basement) insulation (provided that certain performance standards are satisfied) *
- Up to $200 of duct sealing costs, provided that duct leakage is reduced by at least 25%
* Note that the maximum Pepco incentive for both air sealing and insulation is $1,000.
The Pepco Participating Contractor will take care of all the paperwork involved with obtaining these incentives.
Pepco also provides incentives for tuning up or upgrading certain heating and air conditioning equipment through its HVAC Efficiency Program. The STEP-UP Energy Coach is available if needed to help guide STEP-UP participants towards the correct program and available incentives.
- Sandy Spring Bank has developed a special loan product that's available for qualified STEP-UP participants making energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. This unsecured loan may range from $1,000 to $10,000 (or greater, on a case-by-case basis), and will have an interest rate of 4 – 4.5%, and a term of up to 4 years.
- The Maryland Clean Energy Center and the Maryland Energy Administration are currently offering the Maryland Home Energy Loan Program (MHELP). Qualified work recommended as a result of an energy audit by an approved auditor can be financed by an MHELP loan. Loan amounts range from $2,500 to $20,000. The loan is unsecured, and 100% financing is available. The interest rate is fixed at 6.99%, and the repayment term is 10 years. There are no points, fees or closing costs. The work must be undertaken by a Maryland Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Approved Contractor that is approved by the lender.
- The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Be SMART Home Program offers financing to improve home energy efficiency through replacement and upgrading of appliances, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and whole house envelope improvements. The Be SMART Home Program offers two types of loans: Be SMART Home ENERGY STAR and Be SMART Home Complete. Through both types of financing, homeowners are able to choose their weatherization and energy efficiency professionals from a list of eligible providers whose qualifications have been reviewed by DHCD. Up to $15,000 in financing is available. Under the Be SMART Home ENERGY STAR Program, unsecured loans up to $15,000, offered at an interest rate of 6.99%, may be used for energy efficient heating and cooling systems, windows, doors, insulation, appliances, and other improvements that are ENERGY STAR qualified or meet program standards. Under the Be SMART Home Complete Program, unsecured loans up to $15,000, offered at an interest rate of 4.99%, may be used to cover weatherization and whole home envelop improvements. An energy audit is required to utilize this program.
- FHA PowerSaver is a new mortgage insurance product from the Federal Housing Administration that will enable homeowners to make cost effective, energy savings improvements to their homes. PowerSaver will enable homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 for terms as long as 20 years to make energy improvements of their choice, based on a list of proven measures developed by FHA and the U.S. Department of Energy (including insulation, duct sealing, energy efficient doors and windows, energy efficient HVAC systems and water heaters, solar panels and geothermal systems). Loan interest rates are expected to be between 5 and 7 percent. The loans will be secured by a lien on the property subordinate to any existing first mortgage. A borrower must have a credit score of at least 660 and their total debt to income ratio cannot exceed 45%. The combined loan-to-value ratio for all loans on a home cannot exceed 100%. Eighteen national, regional and local lenders have been selected to provide these loans.
The selected contractor will perform the improvements on your home.
Phase 3 Documents
- Pepco Participating Contractors
- Maryland Home Performance Participating Contractors
- Chart summarizing information on STEP Preferred Contractors
- Select a Contractor
- Chart summarizing currently available incentives, rebates and credits for energy efficiency improvements
- Apply for Incentives and if needed project financing
- Request for STEP-UP Incentives
- MD Residential Energy Efficiency
- Maryland Home Energy Loan Program
- Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Be SMART Home Program
- Undertake Improvements