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Free energy-upgrade forum for homeowners

A free forum for homeowners highlighting low-interest financing opportunities for home energy upgrades will be held at 6:30 p.m. on October 12 at Lewiston City Hall, 27 Pine Street.

The forum touts Efficiency Maine’s Property Assessed Clean Energy Loan Program (PACE). The evening is sponsored by the Lewiston Energy Committee, the Auburn Energy Committee, Maine Partners for Cool Communities, Efficiency Maine Trust and the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.

Various presentations will be made to include Efficiency Maine’s Residential Program Specialist Dana Fischer talking about energy audits, upgrade basics and paying for energy efficiency and weatherization through the PACE Loan Program. A Maine PACE loan is taken by a property owner to finance the cost of making a qualified whole house energy upgrade with eligible energy savings improvements to the property.

A unique feature of the loan is that if a homeowner sells his or her home before the loan is paid off, the loan can either be paid off at the time of sale or can be transferred with the property to become the responsibility of the new owner. Examples of eligible energy saving improvements include insulation, air sealing (foam and caulk), heating system upgrades, efficient hot water heaters and better controls and thermostats for furnaces and boilers.

Any residential property owner in a municipality that has established Maine PACE is eligible to take advantage of the program by meeting the following criteria: have a debt-to-income ratio of not more than 45%; property tax and sewer charge payments are current; property is not subject to any outstanding tax or sewer liens; property is not subject to a reverse mortgage; and the property is not subject to a mortgage or other lien on which there is a recorded notice of default, foreclosure or delinquency.

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