Winter is here, and homeowners are preparing for another
round of expensive home heating bills. The U.S. Energy Department
says depending on the fuel you use, home heating costs will rise between
nine percent and 30 percent this winter over last. The high cost of energy
has prompted at least one family to go deeper into debt to save on energy
costs in the future. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erin Toner has
As homeowners face another winter of rising heating bills, one loan officer in the
is promoting energy efficiency when people shop for a mortgage. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Erin Toner reports:
The government and government-chartered companies such as Fannie Mae offer Energy
Efficient Mortgages. But relatively few homeowners take advantage of them. Under the
program, new or existing homes are inspected and rated for energy efficiency. The
homeowners decide which energy-efficient improvements to do, and then roll the cost of
them into their mortgage.
Joel Wiese is a loan officer. He recently closed one of the few non-governmental
efficient mortgages in the Great Lakes region.
“When you start looking at the total housing expense, utilities on top of the rest
you’re doing, you’re basically going to spend less money than you normally would.
Because you’re reducing your utilities. Even though you’re increasing your mortgage
slightly, you’re reducing your utilities significantly. It’s a win-win.”
Wiese says there haven’t been more energy efficient mortgages in the region because
realtors, loan officers and lenders know how to use the program.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Erin Toner.