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Serving your Neighborhood since 1954

Michigan Saves

 
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is Michigan Saves?
Michigan Saves is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making energy improvements easy and affordable. Michigan Saves is developing several different financing programs. The Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program is available as of September 16, 2010.
Where is the Home Energy Loan Program currently available?
The Home Energy Loan Program is currently available in 36 counties in the state, and more areas are expected to be added beginning in 2011. Counties where the Home Energy Loan Program is currently available are:
Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oakland, Osceola, Ottawa, Roscommon, Saginaw, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne.
Michigan Saves also has a pilot program for customers of Cherryland Electric Cooperative which provides service in Northwest Michigan.
Do I qualify for a Michigan Saves loan?
The Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program is available for owner-occupied, single family homes that serve as the primary residence. Rentals and secondary residences are not eligible. Borrowers must also meet the lender's underwriting criteria (credit score above 680 or 640 in some cases and a debt-to-income ratio less that 50%.
What kind of loan is this?
Michigan Saves loans are easy and affordable. No home appraisal or equity is required. Michigan Saves loans are an attractive alternative to credit card financing. The loan application is taken over the phone or internet, and a decision is made within minutes.
Participating lenders offer an unsecured, personal loan for amounts between $1,000 and $12,500, at a fixed rate no higher than 7%, with no prepayment penalty. Loan terms are flexible and range from 12 to 120 months. Terms are one year for every $1,000 for loans up to $4,999. For loans $5,000 and higher, the customer can choose the term up to 120 months.
How do I get a Michigan Saves loan?
The process for getting a Michigan Saves loan is easy. First, work with a Miichigan Saves authorized contractor to get an estimate on qualifying energy improvements. Decide whether to have an energy assessment first, or pick from a list of prequalified improvements. Diversified Heating & Cooling, Inc. is an authorized Michigan Saves Advanced Mechanical & Energy Auditor Contractor.
Second, complete the loan application and get a decision within minutes. Diversified Heating & Cooling, Inc. will help you initiate this process. Finally, once the loan is approved, we will make the energy efficiency improvements. We are paid directly from Michigan Saves after the work is done to your satisfaction.
Why should i use a Michigan Saves authorized contractor?
Authorized contractors meet requirements for licensing, insurance, and third-party certification. Michigan Saves Advanced Contractors have additional technical certifications, and are authorized to perform a broader array of services and improvements. And only Michigan Saves authorized contractors can initiate the loan application process for you.
Should you choose to use Diversified Heating & Cooling, Inc. for your energy improvements, you will be entering into a direct contract with us. It is important that you review any contractors credentials, qualifications and references to make an informed decision. Michigan Saves does not endorse any particular contractor.
Do I have to have an account with one of the lenders to apply for a Michigan Saves loan?
No, you do not need to have an account with one of the participating lenders to apply for the loan. If you obtain the loan through a participating lender that is a credit union, you will become a member of that institution at that time.
What types of improvements can be financed through Michigan Saves?
Loans can finance weatherization, furnace and water heater upgrades, and other improvements that can help a home use less electricity, propane, heating oil or natural gas. The measures will be identified through a whole-home energy assessment by a certified energy professional, or you can choose from the list of prequalified by Michigan Saves without an assessment.
Eligible Measures List
The energy-saving improvements listed below pre-qualify for financing under the Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program. This list is subject to change. A comprehensive home energy assessment is not required to finance these measures. However, requirements apply for certain measures, such as appliances (see notes). If an energy assessment that meets program requirements is conducted, the customer can choose to finance the measures recommended by the certified home energy assessment professional, including measures that are not included on this list, such as air sealing, insulation and health and safety measures.
Pre-Qualified Efficiency Measures for Michigan Saves Program
Minimum Level of Efficiency
 
 
Appliances
 
Ceiling Fan
Energy Star®
Dehumidifier
Energy Star®
Dishwasher
Energy Star®
Freezer
Energy Star®
Refrigerator
Energy Star®
Room Air Conditioner
Energy Star®
Washing Machine
Energy Star®
 
 
Building Shell Improvements
 
Exterior Doors (replacement only - NFRC label)
Energy Star®
Reflective Roof (metal or asphalt)
Energy Star®
Skylights (replacement only)
Energy Star®
Storm Windows & Doors
Energy Star®
Windows (replacement only - NFRC label
Energy Star®
 
 
HVAC Measures††
 
Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan (e.g. ECM Blower Motor)
Use ≤ 2% Furnace Energy
Air Source Heat Pump (split system - replacement only)
SEER ≥ 15.0, EER ≥ 12.5
Air Source Heat Pump (package system - replacement only)
SEER ≥ 14.0, EER ≥ 11.0
Boilers (any fuel)
AFUE ≥ 85%
Central AC (split system)
SEER ≥ 14.5, EER ≥ 12.0
Central AC (package system)
SEER ≥ 14.0, EER ≥ 11.0
Furnaces (LNG, propane)
AFUE ≥ 90%
Furnaces (Oil)
AFUE ≥ 85%
Groundsource Heat Pumps (closed loop systems - replacement only)
EER ≥ 14.1, COP ≥ 3.3
Groundsource Heat Pumps (open loop systems - replacement only)
EER ≥ 14.1, COP ≥ 3.3
Programmable Thermostats (required for any HVAC installation)
 
 
 
Water Heating Measures
 
Pipe Wrap (required for any water heater installation)
R4
Water Heater Jacket
R8
Water Heater (electric - replacement only)
EF ≥ .93
Water Heater (electric heat pump tank - replacement only)
EF ≥ 2.0
Water Heater (LNG condensing)
EF ≥ .90
Water Heater (storage - LNG, propane)
EF ≥ .67
Water Heater (tankless - LNG, propane)
EF ≥ .82
Water Heater (oil)
EF ≥ .82
Water Heater (solar)
SF ≥ .50, SRCC certified
Notes:
Appliances can only be included if other eligible measures are selected or a whole home audit is performed. Homeowner must sign a statement affirming that used appliances were recycled in accordance with state/local laws and not re-used.
†† All furnace installations must be sized appropriately for the home using computer-generated, Manual J heat loss calculation orload simulation using energy modeling software.
What is an energy assessment or audit?
An energy assessment is a diagnostic review of your home to identify how your home could use energy more efficiently. A Michigan Saves Advanced Contractor authorized to perform energy assessments will collect information on the size, style, age, and other characteristics of your home. The contractor will also use diagnostic tools to determine where your home is leaking air or losing heat. Contracors also check related health and safety factors. The information is fed into computer modeling software that identifies appropriate home improvements and estimates how much energy each measure can save.
Is an energy assessment or audit required?
No, but it is recommended in many cases to ensure that you select the most effective improvements and that they are installed properly. The cost of the assessment can be included in the loan amount.
Are renewable energy systems eligible for financing?
Solar thermal hot water is an eligible measure under the program. Air-to-air and ground-to-air heat pump systems are eligible only when replacing an existing system of the same type. Solar photovoltaic and wind energy systems do not currently qualify for financing.
How can I find out about rebates and federal tax credits for financed improvements?
Diversified Heating & Cooling will be able to help you determine what incentives, including rebates and tax credits, are offered on measures you choose to install. Rebates are currently available on certain appliances and equipment through local utilities and the State of Michigan. Visit www.dsireusa.org for rebate and tax credit information. We would be happy to answer and questions you might have regarding rebates and tax credits.
Note about rebates and tax credits:
The Michigan Saves program is designed to harmonize with utility rebates, state rebates, contractor incentives and federal tax credits.  For rebates offered by the State of Michigan or individual utilities, the customer must follow the redemption procedures outlined by those entities.  While the contractor can help the customer complete the redemption form, the customer is responsible for submitting the rebate form.  Because rebate amounts and availability can change quickly and without notice, Michigan Saves strongly suggests that contractors and customers review utility websites for up-to-date information prior to installing any efficiency measure.  Michigan Saves and Diversified Heating & Cooling have no control or influence over any third-party rebate program and make no assurances or guarantees as to rebate amounts or availability.  For links to different utility programs, please click here and select "Energy Efficiency".
 
The customer is also responsible for claiming any applicable state or federal tax rebates.  As your contractor, Diversified Heating & Cooling will provide all the necessary product information and costs for customers to include in their tax filing.  For more information on energy efficiency measures that are eligible for federal tax credits, please click here.  For information on State of Michigan tax credits, click here.
 What are the typical monthly savings and costs I can expect?
The monthly utility savings can vary widely.  A home energy assessment can estimate the monthly energy savings.  The contractor or auditor can help you identify the measures to install and estimate the resulting monthly payment and monthly energy savings.  While it is not customized for you home, you can also visit www.energystar.gov for a simple, online tool to estimate savings.
 
Depending on the measures selected, some homowners may be able to finance their installations with a monthly payment that is at or below the estimated monthly energy bill savings.  Be aware that this depends on the type of improvements; in addition, energy prices, weather fluctuations, and other factors (how often you replace filters, new equipment, number of occupants in the home, etc.) will cause your energy bill to vary.