Qualified customers who participate in the EnergyWise Home Energy Assessment Program, have available access to the HEAT Loan, which has been designed to make it easier for Rhode Island homeowners to install and make high-efficiency improvements to their homes. These customers are eligible to apply to receive a ZERO PERCENT loan and obtain additional applicable utility rebates for the measures that are installed.
To qualify for this unique opportunity, Rhode Island homeowners must be the owners of “one- to four-family homes” and must also have a current residential gas and/or electricity account held with NationalGrid. Units that are in a condominium complex with a “condo board” are not eligible to apply for the HEAT Loan. This is because condos are served through the utility company’s multi-family program.
Applying for a HEAT loan is actually quite simple. The required steps are posted below, along with tips on how to complete each part of the process after you are approved for the HEAT Loan.
Step One – Enrollment Form
The first part of the process involves the completion of an EnergyWise Home Energy Assessment. When you do this you will receive a HEAT Loan Enrollment Form. For more information about the HEAT Loan Program, visit www.nationalgridus.com/energywiseri. This website will provide details about the program as well as a comprehensive list of lenders that are participating in the program.
To schedule a Home Energy Assessment, or if you have any questions about eligibility, what to expect during your Assessment and the HEAT Loan process, call 1-888-633-7947. The no-cost Home Energy Assessment will be conducted by an energy specialist who will evaluate your home’s energy use by inspecting and checking for air leakage, energy-efficient appliances, heating, and hot water systems, insulation in your attic, basement, and walls, as well as lighting, windows and door units.
Step Two – Pre-Approval Loans
Rhode Island homeowners can also choose to apply and get pre-approval loans from any of the participating lenders in the HEAT Loan Program. These loans with either be secured or unsecured, depending on the lender that is chosen. For more information on pre-approval loans and other loan options, refer to the provided participating lender list.
Owner Occupied eligible Rhode Island customers who own a 1-4 unit family property are eligible to receive a “micro loan” with a 24-month loan term and amounts between $500 and $2,000, as well as a “1-4 Unit Standard Loan,” which would provide customers with a loan term of up to 84 months and loan amounts between $2,001 and $25,000.
Properties that are not occupied by the owner would be eligible to receive a “1-4 Unit Rental Property Loan,” which would provide a loan term of up to 84 months and loan amounts between $5,000 and $25,000. The maximum loan amounts and the actual loan type itself will vary depending upon the participating lender that is chosen for the HEAT Loan.
Step Three – Contractor Proposals
The next part of the process involves getting signed and itemized proposals for the eligible efficiency improvements from a professional contractor that you want to finances through the HEAT Loan Program. Rhode Island homeowners are responsible for getting these proposals from contractors that are qualified to complete the eligible efficiency improvements.
HEAT Loan financing will not be applied to do-it-yourself (DIY) installations or installations by non-qualified contractors. Please take a look at the “Minimum Standards and Requirements” provided by NationalGrid, and share it with your contractor(s) to ensure that they meet the requirements.
Step Four – Review and Approval
Once you have chosen the contractor(s) that you wish to use and have provided copies of the proposals from the contractors for the eligible efficiency improvements to your local HEAT Loan Administrator, it is time for the eligibility review and approval part of the process. The HEAT Loan Administrator will review the proposals submitted by the customer and will contact Rhode Island homeowners if any of the paperwork that has been submitted is deemed “incomplete” or does not meet the requirements for eligibility.
You must mail or fax the original “white copy” of your completed and signed HEAT Loan Intake Form, which was provided during your Home Energy Assessment with “section 2” of the form completed and signed. You must also submit via mail or fax, the contractor’s proposal(s) for all of the eligible improvements that you want to finances with the HEAT Loan, as well as any required supporting documentation as described in the Minimum and Standards Requirements provided by NationalGrid.
Step Five – Authorization Form
Once the application and proposals are approved, Rhode Island homeowners will then receive a HEAT Loan Authorization Form. This form must be provided directly to the lender. At this time the lender will do a final determination of the loan and disperse the funds to the customer in the form of a two-party check.
Step Six – Check Disbursements
Rhode Island homeowners who have successfully completed and received approval for the HEAT Loan will receive a loan agreement and all necessary two-party check(s) made out to both the customer and the contractor for the full amount of the loan, minus any applicable utility rebates.
Step Seven – Verification Inspection
Once all of the eligible work that was finances through the HEAT Loan process is complete, Rhode Island homeowners need to notify the HEAT Loan Administrator to schedule a verification inspection. This inspection is to verify that the work that has been financed through the HEAT Loan Program has been properly installed in the home.
Take Advantage of the HEAT Loan Program
For more information on the HEAT Loan Program, the Home Energy Assessment and utility rebates available to Rhode Island homeowners, contact the NationalGrid Energy Wise program direct by calling 1-888-633-7947. If you are looking for a qualified, professional contractor who is authorized to do eligible efficiency improvements, contact Columbus Energies at 877-674-1492. Columbus Energies has been serving customers throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island since 1960.