AHFC program reimburses up to 10K
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is promoting a home energy rebate program meant to see savings – and encourage better energy use – in the homes of Alaska residents.
With no income requirements, Alaskans who live in owner-occupied year-round homes are eligible for up to $10,000 in reimbursable expenses for the renovations.
Butch Schmidt, the energy rater for AHFC in Wrangell, said the program is easy to get started with.
“The program works two ways; by either calling AHFC’s program line, or by going online,” Schmidt said. “AHFC will ask for your name, address and telephone number. That’s all you need to do. After that, they will put you on a list to be seen by me.”
The program’s aim, Schmidt added, is to make homes more energy efficient. Duplexes are also eligible under the program and will cover both sides of the building. Buildings that are eligible and can only be done once in the lifetime of the homeowner; commercial buildings are not eligible for the program.
“You could do it for your home and if you move, your spouse could do it for another home,” Schmidt said. “Once you sign up for the program it takes about two weeks for you to get on the list. Then, I get an email and call to set up an appointment that takes about two hours.”
During the appointment Schmidt said he conducts an energy audit that pressurizes the house to simulate a 20-mile-per-hour wind on the wall and studies leaks, wall surfaces, windows, insulation, roofs, ceilings, crawlspaces and attics.
“All this information goes into a program the next day and I’ll bring them back a report that indicates what needs to be done as far as new doors, windows, insulation or a new furnace,” Schmidt said.
Depending on where the house rates in the study, ranging from a One Star up, improvements will tell the homeowner how many Stars their residence will increase. Points will be awarded from the study and equal one Star for every four points.
“Let’s say you’re at Two Star-Plus. And you put insulation in the floor and you get four points for it, raising you to Three Star, the first time go up a half Star you get $4,000 for reimbursable receipts,” he said. “Every successive step is $1,500, up to a total of $10,000.”
The program has been in existence for five years, but after a funding stop two years ago, the program lingered until it was reinvigorated with a budget approved by Governor Sean Parnell’s office in the last year.
To sign up for the program, call 1-877-257-3228, or go online at www.akrebate.com. For questions about the program, call Schmidt directly at 874-3211.