DOVER — The state’s sustainable-energy utility, DBA Energize Delaware, has been busy.
This month, the nonprofit, established to save Delawareans money through clean and efficient energy practices, announced that it started 2022 with a bang.
Energize Delaware, created in 2007, said Jan. 4 that it has reached a milestone with its low-interest loan program — providing more than $5 million to homeowners to install solar energy systems — while also helping more than 10,000 residents improve their homes’ efficiency.
According to the American Solar Energy Society, renewable energy is on course to provide 33%-50% of electricity in the U.S. by 2030.
Here in the First State, Energize Delaware has funded 326 residential solar projects, with a total loan amount of $5.1 million.
“The (loan) program was created in 2017, so homeowners could access affordable capital to finance and ultimately own their solar system,” said Tony DePrima, executive director of Energize Delaware.
Delaware’s sustainable-energy utility contracted Annapolis, Maryland-based InClime to manage its loan program. InClime directs and runs renewable-energy and energy-efficiency projects for utilities and public entities throughout North America.
“The Residential Solar Loan Program has helped many Delaware residents purchase their solar systems while minimizing out-of-pocket costs. This loan program is a quick and seamless way for qualifying customers to reap all the financial and environmental benefits from going solar. The success of the Residential Solar Loan Program has created more opportunities for Delawareans to go green,” said program manager Rachel Land of InClime.
James Paul Tindilia of Wilmington took advantage of the initiative to install an 11-kilowatt array on the roof of his home. CMI Solar & Electric of Newark helped with the equipment.
“I am ecstatic with the way the residential loan process worked. Both my salesperson and the project engineer at CMI Electric painstakingly determined the costs of the system, factored in government rebates and other incentives, and filled out all the paperwork for the loan. I have to admit, the process was seamless,” he said.
On the energy-efficiency front, Energize Delaware announced Jan. 10 that its Home Performance With ENERGY STAR program has assisted more than 10,000 Delawareans improve their homes’ productivity.
Annually, participants receive an average incentive of $1,481 per project and save an average of $300 on their energy bills, Energize Delaware leaders said in a statement.
Combined, those served save more than $3 million annually on their energy costs.
To achieve those savings, the initiative provides comprehensive home energy assessments and energy-efficiency upgrades at reduced prices.
“This is our most popular program and one that has significant impact for participating Delaware residents. Keeping people warm in the winter or cool in sweltering summer heat and saving them money on their utility bills is the purpose of this program. Making a home more energy efficient reduces homeowners’ costs,” Mr. DePrima said.
The assessments are done by trained energy auditors, who examine homes to determine how they may be losing energy, then suggest ways to improve efficiency and comfort with cost-saving measures.
The Home Performance With ENERGY STAR program looks at the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, windows, doors, roof and wall insulation, water-heating, lighting, appliances, air infiltration and ventilation, and foundation insulation. The auditor also installs up to $200 of free LED light bulbs. Then, a comprehensive report is given to the homeowner with suggested improvements.
Once a home is audited, the resident can take advantage of various rebates on specific types of weatherization, air-sealing and heating/cooling equipment installed by a participating program contractor.
The assessments cost the homeowner $50 through June 30. Energize Delaware also offers programs for qualifying low-income families for $25.
Robert Hall of Hockessin, who recently had a home assessment, said he was moved by the experience.
“(I’d) like to thank everyone for following up with my inquiries in reference to the programs offered. … I am equally grateful to everyone involved in the application process and to those who administer the services,” he said.
For more information, visit here or call 877-524-1339.