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PA Family Goes Geothermal

And Cuts Heating Bills By 65%


David and Jen Schlegel, Home Owners, Highland Park, PA
David and Jen Schlegels of Highland Park, Pa cut their heating bill from $1,679 a year to $554 by installing a geothermal heating system with the help of a low interest loan from the State of Pennsylvania.
The video shows the Schlegels being interviewed buy the following:

Rob McCord
State Treasurer
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, PA
www.patreasury.org
Sheryl M. Delozier
State Representative
State of Pennsylvania
New Cumberland, PA
www.sheryldelozier.com
Jason Scott
Reporter
The Sentinel
Carlisle, PA
www.cumberlink.com

In the interviews the Schlegels describe:
  • How they decided on going geothermal?
  • What are the good an bad aspects of going geothermal?
  • How much the system costs and how much it cut their bills?
  • What they plan to do next to cut their energy costs?
Pennsylvaniai's Energy Loan and Rebate Program
  • For Home Improvements and Energy Efficiency.
  • For 1 or 2 Unit Primary Residence Located In PA.
  • Combined Annual Household Income is $150,000 or Less.
  • Loans Up To $35,000.
  • Interest Rates as Low as 3.875%.
  • Up to $500 in Rebates for Energy Improvements.
  • Appliance Rebates Up to $250.
  • $350 Cash Credit For Home Energy Audit.
For More Information Go to www.keystonehelp.com/
$250 Rebate For A Home Energy Audit For PPL Customers
A home energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy your home consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your home more energy efficient. An audit will show you problems that may, when corrected, save you significant amounts of money over time. During the audit, you can pinpoint where your house is losing energy. Audits also determine the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling systems. An audit may also show you ways to conserve hot water and electricity. You can perform a simple energy audit yourself, or have a professional energy auditor carry out a more thorough audit.
A professional auditor uses a variety of techniques and equipment to determine the energy efficiency of a structure. Thorough audits often use equipment such as blower doors, which measure the extent of leaks in the building envelope, and infrared cameras, which reveal hard-to-detect areas of air infiltration and missing insulation.
  • Public Utilities Companies will sometimes offer home energy audits.  The cost and extent of the audit varies from service to service.  Contact your local company to see what they provide.  If you have trouble locating your service, check your utilities bills or go to http://www.govengine.com and click on your state to find your Public Utilities Commission.
  • Step-by-Step Home Energy Audit If you are interested in doing a home energy audit yourself the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse has created a step-by-step guide for you to follow at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11170  It covers locating air leaks, insulation, heating and cooling equipment, and lighting.  If you decide to hire someone to do a professional home energy audit, the Clearinghouse provides some advice on tips on how to choose a company, as well as things you need to do before the company arrives for the audit.  Check it out at
    http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11180. The Clearinghouse also has general information about energy use and renewable energy topics.  For tips on saving energy and money at hope check out http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/home_energy.html
  • You can also find Home Energy Audit information at the Energy Star website at
    http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_mprovement.hm_improvement_audits   ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.  You can learn how to do an audit, how to hire an Energy Star certified auditor, as well as how to do the home improvements yourself.  Energy Star has qualified products that help you save energy and protect the environment.  They also provide publications, Energy Star homes which must meet strict energy saving guidelines, and more.  You can learn more by contacting them at

    US EPA,
    ENERGY STAR Hotline (6202J),
    1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
    Washington, DC 20460;
    888-782-7937; 
    https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home.index
Online Home Energy Audit
The first web-based home energy audit tool called Home  Energy Saver was designed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and can be found at http://hes.lbl.gov/  The Home Energy Saver is designed to help consumers identify the best ways to save energy in their homes, and find the resources to make the savings happen. The Home Energy Saver's Energy Advisor calculates energy use and savings opportunities, based on a detailed description of the home provided by the user. Users can begin the process by simply entering their zip code, and in turn receive instant initial estimates. By providing more information about the home the user will receive increasingly customized results along with nergy-saving upgrade recommendations.  The results pages provide a list of recommendations--ranked by payback time--tailored to the particular home being evaluated. The user can vary the energy efficiency assumptions in many cases, as well as the retrofit costs and then recalculate the table. The results can be viewed on line, and via a detailed printable report which includes retrofit description and other details as well as links to additional information. 
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to get into the act as well and will provide grants to support energy audits at farms, ranches, and rural small businesses through its Rural Energy for America Program.  The funds will be awarded to governments and organizations that will conduct the audits.  Funds can also be used to support programs that provide information about energy efficiency and renewable energy.  For more information check out http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/REAPEA.htm   To apply for funding contact your Rural Development State Office at 800-670-6553. 
$6,500 To Weatherize Your Home Audit
The U. S. Department of Energy will invest nearly $8 billion in state and local weatherization and energy efficient efforts.  The funds will be divided between the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program.  The State Energy Program funding will be used to provide rebates to consumers for home energy audits or other energy-saving improvements.   The Weatherization funding will improve energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families by adding more insulation, sealing leaks, or modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment, at a cost of up to $6,500 per home.  The energy efficiency upgrades will be available for families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level (Family of 4: $44,000).  For your state Weatherization Assistance Program, you can contact the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse at 877-337-3463 or find your state contact at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/weatherization/state_contacts.cfm To find your state Energy Program you can contact the Clearinghouse or go to http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/state_energy_program/
$$ to Pay Your Heating Bill Audit
Even if you are not approved by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, you might still be eligible for short-term assistance on your utility bill for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP serves low-income families by offering heating and cooling subsides, energy crisis intervention to assist in weather-related and fuel supply shortages and household energy-related emergencies, such as utility shut-offs. The amount of money and eligibility for this program varies from state to state, so you need to contact your state LIHEAP coordinator to learn how to apply.
To locate the office in your state, contact.
U.S. Administration for Children and Families,
370 L ’Enfant Promenade,
SW, Washington, DC 20447;
866-674-6327;
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/
$10,000 For Energy Efficiency In Your Home
In addition to the Keystone HELP program listed for Pennsylvania, we found several others.  The Duke Home Energy Loan Pool provides up to $10,000 for energy efficiency measures done to a home served by Duke Energy: http://www.nchfa.com/Nonprofits/HRRdukehome.aspx
The loan is forgiven $1,000 each year until the balance is $0 if you stay in your home.  Homes served must be at 80% of median income for the area, which could be up to $57,000 for a family of 4.
To learn more about this program contact
North Carolina Housing Finance Agency,
3508 Bush St., Raleigh, NC 
27609; 919-877-5700;
http://www.nchfa.com/index.aspx MaineHousing’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers loans at a low fixed rate of only 3.95% for home improvements that increase home energy efficiency. Loan amounts range from $2,800 to $30,000, with loan terms of up to 15 years. For loans repaid over 15 years, the monthly payment would be $7.37 for every $1,000 borrowed. 
To learn more contact.
MaineHousing,
353 Water St.,
Augusta, ME  04330;
800-452-4668; 207-626-4600;
http://www.mainehousing.org/PROGRAMSHelp.aspx?ProgramID=32
To see if there is a Home Energy Loan Program available in your state contact your state Housing Finance Agency.  To locate your Agency go to the National Council of State Housing Agencies and click on your state at http://www.ncsha.org/section.cfm/4/39/187
Tax Credits
Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes can receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. See EnergyStar.gov for a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers.
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits : Consumers who install solar energy systems (including solar water heating and solar electric systems), small wind systems, geothermal heat pumps, and residential fuel cell and microturbine systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap no longer applies.
To learn more about energy tax credits go to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website at http://www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm  or the Energy Star website at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_tax_credits
Alternative Technologies
Do you want to learn more about geothermal heat?  What about solar or wind power?  You can find energy-saving and renewable energy products, as well as services such as green power.  You can explore your options for saving energy and using renewable energy at home, at work, in your community, and while driving.  All this and more is available on the U. S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website at http://www.eere.energy.gov/  They have a Consumer ’s Guide located at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/ which provides tips, suggestions, and information. If you can't find what you need on the website you can always cal the Clearinghouse at 877-337-3463. 
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