Boulder County suspends home energy loan program
BOULDER, Colo. – Boulder County will suspend home energy-improvement loans for 60 days while officials review new U.S. Department of Energy guidelines.
The voter-approved ClimateSmart program allows Boulder County to issue bonds to finance loans for people to make their homes more energy efficient. Homeowners would then pay the loan as an assessment on their properties.
Eagle County voters approved a similar program but it has not yet been implemented.
Boulder officials say they also want clarification on a letter from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae about how they would handle such mortgages.
Boulder County announced the program’s temporary suspension this week after energy officials released the new rules for how such loans, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy loans, should be structured.
Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor says he doesn’t expect major changes.
“But we’re legally obligated now to review the program and make sure that it conforms with the DOE guidelines,” he said.
The county has issued $13 million in loans so far to 612 homeowners. When voters approved the program in 2008, they allowed the county to sell $40 million in bonds to fund ClimateSmart. The loans allow homeowners to make their homes energy efficient with projects that can include installing solar panels or putting up storm windows.
Toor said county officials are also reviewing what he called a “very confusing” letter last week from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, where the mortgage companies appeared to imply that they would not buy mortgages with liens from programs like ClimateSmart. At the same time, Toor said the letter appeared to support such programs.
Information from: Daily Camera, http://www.dailycamera.com/