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0% energy improvement loans

Weather is the lead story right now with Hurricane Ike barreling into the Texas coast, but soon more mundane climatological concerns will be upon us all.

Yes, winter is on its way. For those of us in Central Texas, where we've had an inordinate number of days this year where thermometers hit 100 degrees or higher, cooler weather can't get here soon enough. Then we'll all be whining about how cold it is!

Special loans for energy improvements: To get ready for winter, or replace an HVAC system that was literally used to death during the summer, our local electric utility has an interesting, or rather no interest, offer.

Qualified Austin Energy customers can get a 0 percent loan to help them make energy-efficient home improvements.

Energy_star_logo The interest-free Energy Star loan options allow customers to choose a three- or five-year payback term through a local credit union. Or homeowners can choose a longer payback term, seven or 10 years, and get a 3.5 percent interest rate loan.

Eligible improvements include a new energy-efficient air conditioner or heat pump, duct sealing, insulation, solar screens, window film and radiant barrier treatment in the attic.

The hubby and I are seriously thinking about a radiant barrier. Our attic is an oven in "normal" summers. I was afraid to check it out during this year's string of 100-plus days!

Austin Energy apparently has been offering this program for a while. The utility says about 300 Austinites take advantage of the loan program every year, with some customers reporting a post-improvement drop in their summer energy bills of up to 40 percent,

I suspect that Austin Energy is not the only utility in the country offering such loans. Check with your local electric provider to see what types of energy, and money, saving programs they have.

You also can check DSIRE, the Database of State incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. The Web site is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Taxes and home improvements: A new furnace or air conditioning system can help add to your home's basis, or overall value. That's an important number to know when you sell. Your basis is key to determining your home sale profit.

If you net $250,000 or less and you're a single seller, you won't owe any tax on your gain. The tax exempt amount is double that for married home sellers who file a joint return.

You can read more on how sprucing up the old abode could pay off when you move out in Home improvements and and your taxes.


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solar attic fan

Surely, this is a great help for those who does not know yet the basics of a radiant barrier. Many tips about energy conservation are being discussed. Moreover, taxes and household expenses for renovation and beautification are evaluated also.

Duct Cleaning

Both the spray and the foil "Reflect" radiant heat. The spray can reflect up to 75% and the Foil will reflect about 97%. Foil is actually the "Best" radiant barrier.

Radiant Barrier

Good post. Here's a link for updated information on radiant barriers and their uses. These products are approved for the tax plan.


Another resource that sells radiant barrier which qualifies for the federal tax credit is

In addition to selling the product, this website provides installation details.


Another source for Radiant Barrier

Michelle has the radiant barriers as well. They are very competively priced and can easily be installed by someone fairly comfortable in the attic space; and you get a 30% tax credit for 2009 as well!


Thanks, Bob. I suspect, however, that the hubby would rather give up something else and pay someone to sweat it out in our attic! Unless I can convince him to to it in the winter!


You can install the radiant barrier attic foil yourself. Here are the instructions.

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