Green wants more "green" for greening

    Philadelphia City Council is considering expanding the federal stimulus weatherization program to middle class residents. A bill introduced today would establish a loan program for those whose income is too high to qualify for federal grants.

    Philadelphia City Council is considering expanding the federal stimulus weatherization program to middle class residents. A bill introduced today would establish a loan program for those whose income is too high to qualify for federal grants.

    Five billion in federal stimulus dollars will be spent on weatherization nationwide. The money will be used to caulk windows, insulate attics and buy energy efficient appliances. Pennsylvania is getting about $250 million. But to qualify for a grant, homeowners have to be no more than 200 percent above the poverty level. That’s about $44,000 thousand dollars a year for a family of four.

    Councilman Bill Green wants to establish a loan program for homeowners who are over the income limit, funded by a bond offering.

    Green: The loans would allow people to weatherize, put on green roofs, or solar panels. And people would pay it back with a special assessment added to their tax bill. So it’s a voluntary program for citizens who could not get financing for weatherization which could save them money in the end.

    Green says the program could save homeowners money once utility rate caps expire in 2011.  The repayment surcharge that Green mentioned would be tacked onto property tax bills.

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