SENATE DEMOCRATS AID CASEY’S ENERGY EFFICIENCY EFFORT
HARRISBURG, January 12, 2006 – With significant financial assistance from state Senator Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia) and other Senate Democrats, Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr., today launched a program to help Pennsylvania homeowners reduce energy consumption and save on their energy bills.
KeystoneHELP (Home Energy Loan Program) will provide low-interest loans to Pennsylvania homeowners to purchase Energy Star heating and cooling units and other major appliances, or to make home improvements that will conserve energy. Those can include projects such as new windows or insulation.
"At this time of concern and uncertainty about future energy prices, the more we can do to help people lower their energy costs, the better. That’s why I was anxious to support this program when Treasurer Casey presented the idea to me," Fumo said.
Casey’s office designed and will implement the program in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Sustainable Energy Funds. Treasury will make $20 million available for loans provided by AFC First Financial of Allentown.
The Senate Democrats are providing $300,000 in community and economic development grant money to help the program offer the loans at low interest rates. The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) under Gov. Ed Rendell is contributing $500,000, and the House Democratic Appropriations Chairman Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) $100,000, for that purpose.
The loans will be unsecured and available at a 7.99 percent interest rate, which is four-to-six percent lower than conventional rates for such loans. The repayment period will be 10 years.
Low-income homeowners will get an even better rate – 5.99 percent. Pennsylvania utilities have contributed money to offer the reduced rates for low-income borrowers.
The Sustainable Energy Funds, Pennsylvania utilities and Pennsylvania petroleum suppliers have also contributed money to make the public aware of the program and its advantages.
"This program will help individual homeowners, but just as importantly, it is another step that Pennsylvania can take toward reducing our national level of energy use – something that we must do for both environmental and economic reasons," Fumo said.
Fumo is the chairman of the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, and in that role oversees decisions about projects that are designated for grants by the Senate Democrats.
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To read Treasurer Casey's news release on the program, click on the link below: