Energy-efficient mortgages are one of the most beneficial and under-utilized programs the consumer can find and capitalize upon in today’s real estate market. An energy-efficient mortgage may add up to an additional 15% of a home’s appraised value to the principal of a new loan or a refinance, often at no additional cost, no compromise in the loan-to-value ratio for the borrower, and sometimes at a better rate. Yes, one pays a bit more in principal and interest, at today’s rates, roughly $30-50 dollars per month, over the course of the loan. However, when this extra principal is used to install energy efficiency measures, it is not uncommon for the property owner to realize $75-100 per month in energy cost savings.
Most energy-efficient financing programs require that the borrower has an energy rating on their existing or new home. A rating typically involves an inspection by a professional energy rater who is certified under a nationally or state accredited home energy rating system (HERS).
The consumer can also benefit in their buying power because the savings per month in energy can be applied toward the consumer’s debt-to-income ratios.