New Policy Brief- Middle Income Financing for Energy Efficiency

Increasing Middle America’s Access to Capital for Energy Improvements

While middle income Americans have historically invested in improvements that maintain and increase the value of their homes, they have seen an important source of financing – the equity in their properties – evaporate at the same time that their access to other loan products has been restricted.  A number of energy efficiency programs are deploying credit enhancements, novel underwriting criteria, and innovative financing tools to reduce risks for both financiers and borrowers in an effort to increase the availability of energy efficiency financing for middle income households.  While many of these programs are income-targeted, the challenges, opportunities, and emerging models for providing access to capital may apply more broadly across income groups in the residential sector.

Read the Brief  mi-policybrief-3-6-2012


  1. I find that most of this “green” effort – even when it comes to making homes more energy efficient is just simply hogwash…. not far off from buying an uncomfortable 40,000 dollar compact car (Volt) to save gas. The masses can’t afford that expensive of a vehicle (regardless of some piddly government subsidy (WHICH SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE) and those who can, easily recognize that what they might save in gas over several years is spent up front in the purchase. Again, just plain stupidity that any 10 year old should recognize.

    Ever get a quote for vinyl replacement windows? A house like mine has 28 windows and the best quote I’ve ever seen is 10 grand in round figures. LOL – these windows would have to save me 100% (instead of the 30% the manufacturers generally promise) of my heating and cooling costs for the next 50 years to break even assuming a zero interest loan. DUH!


    1. One of the Calculations I use in determining the Payback for Energy Efficiency can’t be measured in Dollars alone but in the amount of pollution that is not created when energy efficient upgrades are installed on a home. There is also the fact that as energy costs rise you will receive additional savings from the energy efficient upgrades. There are a few factors that need to be considered in the choice of energy efficiency-whether in cars or homes. A few of my window suppliers can get you 28 windows for less than the amount you quoted-‘using round figures’.


      1. If anyone has the paycheck to be able to spend lots of money over worrying about global pollution I guess that’s a great thing for them… and congratulations. My game plan (because there is no choice in the matter) has to be to let all the tree huggers go ahead and be first in line to buck up making these kinds of contributions to society so I can take advantage of the money they save me in minimizing the energy cost increases of the future. Perhaps both congratulations and a thank-you will be in order… if they will be able to somehow let me know when they have spent enough money to save me some 🙂


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