Boulder County announced loans for energy efficiency improvements are now available through Elevations Credit Union, with interest rates purportedly beginning at 2. 75 percent. Voters approved a ballot initiative called the ClimateSmart Loan program in 2008. That program allowed property owners to borrow money from the County with a property assessment paid back over time. However, the ClimateSmart program was cancelled when FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released a policy that said the government-backed mortgages would not purchase loans for homes with this kind of lien.
It has taken the County three years to find a loan provider willing to participate in the revamped program now known as EnergySmart. Property owners apply for EnergySmart loans directly through Elevations, which is making $35 million available for upgrades in Boulder County and Denver. The loan loss reserve — which is set up using money from a federal grant — will equal $8 million. As the initial loans are paid back, that money will be made available again for more loans. In the meantime, a spokesperson for Boulder County says it will continue to lobby the federal government for the right to make property-assessed clean energy loans (PACE). Note: The Colorado Association of Realtors® opposes PACE loans that tie obligations to a property rather than a property owner.