Oklahoma City homeowners can officially continue to take advantage of low interest loans through the City of Oklahoma City’s Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Program for home improvement projects. The Oklahoma City Council approved the renewed agreement with the Community Action Agency on Tuesday, August 18, allowing OKC residents to improve the energy efficiency rating of their home. Residents must qualify (household income of $100,000 or less) in order to apply for this loan and once approved, they can receive a 36-month, low interest loan up to $15,000.
Install new energy-efficient windows or exterior doors
Installing Energy Star certified windows can save an Oklahoma City homeowner hundreds of dollars annually. Energy Star windows are extremely efficient, keeping cool air in during the summer months and making sure the heat stays in throughout the winter months. Replacing single-pane windows with Energy Star windows, an Oklahoma City resident can save up to $390 a year in electric and heating costs. That’s an average savings of more than 31%. With a double-pane window replacement, the “heat gain” is reduced by cutting out 75% of the sun’s heat without reducing visible light.
Adding more insulation to the attic and walls
Adding new insulation to an attic can also dramatically reduce one’s heating and cooling bill while also increasing comfort. A homeowner of a moderately sized house can save up to $660 dollars annually in heating/cooling. Homes built before 1980 will benefit the most by adding more insulation to the attic and the walls as most homes built before 1980 were not built with energy efficiency in mind.
Replacing inefficient window units with central heat and air
Replacing inefficient window units with central heat and air is a bigger initial investment, but likely the most impactful. Standard window units commonly found in single family homes are both energy and cooling inefficient. When choosing energy efficient air conditioners, the higher the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings the better. Optimizing performance within a home with central heat and air will dramatically decrease the energy usage of the home as opposed to keeping the standard window unit and floor heating unit.
Installation of a new heat pump
Geothermal heat pumps use the temperature of the earth as the exchange medium instead of the outside air temperature. Geothermal heat pumps help provide heat during the winter and cool air during the summer. When it comes to clean, sustainable energy sources, geothermal heat pumps are one of the most energy efficient systems available.
Replacing a dark-colored roof with a cool roof that reflects the sun
Cool roofs cut cooling costs by up to 20% by using reflective materials that limit the solar heat gain. Solar reflectance is the most important component of shingles when it comes to energy efficient, cool roofs. Commercial facilities typically use light colored roofs to reduce costs, however, homeowners are often concerned about the aesthetic appeal of a light-colored roof. As a result, manufactures have created both dark-colored pigments for roofing materials that reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it as well as the traditional light shades of cool roofs.
In addition to these methods, there are plenty of other ways to transform the energy efficiency of your home, and the city of Oklahoma City is now providing homeowners with the resources needed to make those changes. If you think it’s time to reduce your carbon footprint, apply for the Community Action Agency Green Home Loan Program and start saving money today.
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This post was written by Jennifer Blunt