The Be SMART Home Loan Program offers innovative financing to improve home energy efficiency through replacement and upgrading of appliances, heating, cooling and ventilation systems and whole house envelope improvements across the state. These changes are intended to save the homeowner money, increase the safety and comfort of the home, and add value to the home. Home owners may choose their weatherization and energy efficiency professionals from a list of eligible providers whose qualifications have been reviewed by The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
Participants in the Be SMART Home program must be Maryland homeowners who want to make energy efficient improvements to their primary residence and who meet the following eligibility standards:
- Verification of income
- Credit score of 640 or greater
- Debt-to-income ratio of up to 50%
Up to $30,000 in financing is available for eligible homeowners.
TYPES OF FINANCING AND ELIGIBLE IMPROVEMENTS
Unsecured loans provided through the Be SMART Home Complete program may be used for weatherization and whole home envelope improvements, as well as for replacement and upgrading of ENERGY STAR rated appliances and home heating or cooling systems. Loans are offered at an interest rate of 4.99%. Work must be done by a contractor from the Be SMART Home Complete eligible contractors list. Typical energy savings are in the range of 15–25%, depending on each household’s energy usage profile. Based on the result of a prescribed home energy audit, the following measures may be recommended to improve the efficiency, safety and comfort of a home:
- Insulation in the attic, floors, and walls
- Hot water system improvements
- Lighting retrofit
- Furnace cleaning/tuning and burner repair/replacement
- Renewable energy systems including solar and geothermal
- Health and safety items that improve energy efficiency
Qualified ENERGY STAR improvements include, but are not limited to:
- Air Source Heat Pumps
- Central AC Systems
- Boilers (All Fuels)
- Water Heaters
- Ceiling Fans
- Programmable Thermostats
- Ventilating Fans
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The gentlemen who worked at my house were very helpful, and courteous. They have been very efficient at doing all the tasks necessary to give me a more comfortable place to live. I do thank them whole heartily, and give my appreciation also to Catholic Charities.