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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Zero Percent Financing For Climate-Friendly Upgrades With No Catch!

By Kevin Kam for Energize Ashland 
 The Energize Ashland website (Energize Ashland | Home ( is now live!  There, you will see information about actions (22 specific ones so far) you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your daily activities.  Some of the suggested actions are small or incremental such as incorporating more plant-based foods in your diet or being more mindful of your buying habits and of your electricity usage.  
Other actions are more involved and expensive: electrifying your home heating system, water heater, cooking appliances and car; or adding solar panels to your roof (if you are not able to add solar panels to your roof, consider whether community solar makes sense).   For many people, this means getting a loan.  One local credit union is advertising home equity loan rates around 7% depending on the loan term, which translates to a payment of about $20 per month per $1000 borrowed on a 5-year loan, or $8 per month per $1,000 borrowed on a 20-year loan. 
But what if, instead of borrowing at 7%, you could finance your energy efficiency improvement with a 0% seven-year loan from your local bank or credit union?  Enter the Mass Save the HEAT Loan which can be used for any of five eligible upgrades: 1) weatherization and insulation work; 2) replacing an old gas or oil boiler or furnace with an Energy Star certified unit (up to $50,000 if installing a heat pump!); 3) replacing windows with Energy Star certified models; 4) replacing fossil fuel hot water heater with a heat pump water heater; and 5) installing a home battery (but the solar panels which might charge it are NOT eligible for this type of loan).  
Financing at 0% versus 7% or more can result in a huge cost savings.   A little over two years ago, I obtained a HEAT Loan to pay for an air-source heat pump to replace the rusting, 16-year-old, minimum-spec central air conditioning unit that prior owners had installed.  My $17,000 loan covered the entire cost of the equipment and installation after the Mass Save and Federal incentives.  (Since then, the Mass Save rebate increased to up to $16,000 and the federal tax credit can be up to $2,000).  My monthly payment is $215, compared to almost $300 per month under a conventional loan.  I estimate the HEAT Loan will save me over $5,000 in avoided interest over the life of my HEAT Loan.    
Please visit the Energize Ashland website to learn more about energy efficiency actions, read testimonials from fellow Ashland residents about their experiences making such upgrades, and for links to more information about the state, federal and Mass Save incentives that can reduce the cost of your actions!