Last month we talked about lighting efficiencies. This month, we wanted to discuss ways to identify how your home could be more efficient overall and the short-term programs available now to help you make it so.

If you are a city of Seattle resident, the Community Power Works program is the one for you.

Go online to identify whether your home is a good candidate for an energy audit. Using the online system, followed by a call with a Community Power Works representative, you can schedule your home energy assessment for just $95 (normally $400!). We recommend using an independent auditor who does not do remodels, as they will have less incentive to suggest un-neccessary upgrades. Please let us know if you would like recommendations.

Following your energy audit, you will have lots of ideas on how to make big and small changes to save you money and tread more lightly on the planet. The list can sometimes be daunting, that that is where we can begin to help.

We will discuss what solutions make sense for your family and home, making your choices balance lots of factors; budget and getting the biggest bang for the planet for the least buck are just two of them.

The beautiful thing about working with us is that as an approved contractor, we are able to give you a bid already reduced by the program’s incentives and rebates! That means less money out of pocket and no waiting for those rebates to come in the mail.

Not everyone is able to pay for home upgrades out-of-pocket. Community Power Works is partnered with two local lenders, the Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU) and and Craft3, to offer low-interest, no-money-down loans based upon the cost of the upgrades, not on the value of your home (unlike typical home equity loans).

Craft3 and PSCCU loans both offer low interest rates and long terms. While Craft3 loans can be used by clients with lower credit scores, PSCCU loans can be used for major upgrades, including heating and cooling, hot water tanks, gas conversion, window replacements and solar panels.

Community Power Works is scheduled to end Fall 2013. Rebates are given on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is depleted. We’d recommend starting soon in order to finish well in advance of the deadline. With its financial incentives and rebates, Community Power Works is an amazing program! Give us a call today to take advantage of these programs.