Demand For New Program Overwhelming


Mary Donaldson/KMXT

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s Energy Rebate Program isn’t working as smoothly as it could be. The program is so popular, energy raters statewide are having trouble keeping up with the new demand, causing many who signed up wait months before any work can be started. Mary Donaldson has more.

Alaska residents who have signed up for the Home Energy Rebate Program can’t move forward with their home improvements as quickly as they’d like. The AHFC program was created to allow Alaska homeowners to take steps to reduce their energy bills, and to make their homes more energy-efficient. The popularity of the program has taken off since there are no income requirements, and the only major qualification is that you are a year round home owner.

Cary Bolling is an energy specialist with AHFC and says it is the high demand for the program that is causing the slow moving process.

(Bolling 1 :34s “…about the program.”)

To start the program, those interested must first have their homes evaluated by an energy rater to determine the “as-is” rating, and to determine what improvements are suggested.

(Bolling 2 :42s “…of up to 4-thousand dollars.”)

Bolling notes however, that the rebate amounts will depend on the actual amount that is spent, up to the total rebate amount allocated for that level, and up to 10-thousand dollars maximum. He says program participants will also be reimbursed for the initial energy rating, up to 325-dollars, and for the final energy rating after improvements have been made, up to 175-dollars.

Jerrol Friend, owner of Friend Contractors in Kodiak, is a certified energy rater. He says he is one of only three in Kodiak, and that they are staying very busy. He says each energy rating for a home takes anywhere from one to four hours, and that he is working on the energy ratings around his daytime job, which is why he is having trouble meeting the demand.

He says measuring efficiency in a home has many elements that are tallied, and then totaled to find a home’s “star rating”, which is based on a point value.

(Friend 1 :28s “…the star rating.”)

From a home’s star rating, the energy rater can then produce an improvement options report.

(Friend 2 :12s “…where would you spend it first.”)

Bob Tucker is one Kodiak resident who has signed up to make energy-efficient improvements to his home. He says he signed up in May and he just received his home’s as-is energy rating, but that the wait was worth it.

(Tucker 1 :38s “…that you wanna do.”)

He says the future savings that the program provides is paramount.

(Tucker 2 :30s “…to have these done.”)

Tucker says even though winter will soon be here, it won’t stop him from making what improvements he can.

Bolling says so far in Kodiak, there have been 18 as-is ratings completed for those who have applied for the first energy rating rebate. Because of the wildly popular program, an additional 60-million dollars was allotted by the legislature to the home energy rebate program, which now gives AHFC a total of 160-million in funding. There are now about 80 to 100 certified energy raters statewide, which is double the number that were providing these services before the program started in May.

I’m Mary Donaldson.



HOST TAG: You can find a link for more information to AHFC’s Home Energy Rebate Program here.

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