City of Bloomington launches Bloomington Green Home Improvement Program

The City of Bloomington launched the Bloomington Green Home Improvement Program on Tuesday as part of Mayor Hamilton’s Recover Forward initiative, according to a press release Monday.

The program, a partnership between the city’s Department of Economic and Sustainable Environment, Community Development Financial Institutions Friendly Bloomington and Clean Energy Credit Union, is meant to support energy efficient improvements for residents of Bloomington. 

CDFI Friendly Bloomington is a nonprofit local organization supporting and assisting Community Development Financial Institutions in the city, according to its website. Clean Energy Credit Union is a low-income designated, federally chartered credit union that offers loans for clean energy projects, according to its website

“We’re excited to partner with the City of Bloomington to encourage and facilitate more residents’ installing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects,” Blake Jones, volunteer board chair for Clean Energy Credit Union, said in the release. “In addition to the environmental benefits, we’re excited that these projects will also help Bloomington residents to lower their utility bills and save money.”

Qualified homeowners will be eligible to receive $1,000 rebates and low-interest loans to use toward solar, geothermal and energy efficient projects.

“This program creates the opportunity for low- and moderate-income homeowners to make environmentally-friendly updates to their homes, which will have direct benefits for them and the community–and region–as a whole,” Brian Payne, Executive Director of CDFI Friendly Bloomington, said in the release.

Energy efficient projects include solar electric system installations, geothermal heat pump systems, energy efficient HVAC and electric vehicle charges. A full list is available at the Clean Energy Credit Union’s website.

“The City of Bloomington continues to foster initiatives that support environmental and economic goals, advancing Bloomington’s progress towards becoming a more sustainable, resilient, and thriving city,” Hamilton said. “Through this program, individuals can play an important role in climate action and also enjoy energy cost savings.”

All homeowners within Bloomington city limits are considered eligible to apply for the program and must complete an intake form to confirm eligibility. Once the intake form is completed, eligible residents will be directed to apply directly for a loan from Clean Energy Credit Union at an interest rate reduced by 0.5%, according to the release. 

Residents with a household income below $100,000 who verify completion of a green energy project are then eligible for a $1,000 rebate from the city, according to the release.

A federal solar income tax credit of 26% is available for solar or geothermal projects completed in 2021 or 2022, and receiving a rebate from the city will not disqualify residents from claiming this credit, according to the release. 

The city is offering additional opportunities to learn more about the program with a webinar from 5:30-6:30 p.m. July 27, which requires registration, a Zoom FAQ session from 1-2 p.m. July 26, which also requires registration and a link on the city’s official website.

Janelle B. Smith

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