The Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) announced the Maryland Home Energy Loan Program (MHELP) will no longer be available to residential consumers seeking to finance energy efficiency improvements as of August 1, 2017. Improvement measures covered HVAC replacements, insulation, ventilation, duct sealing, and lighting designed to reduce energy costs.
The program was launched in partnership with the Maryland Energy Administration using funds from the US Department of Energy via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. MCEC administered the program with Mariner Finance, LLC serving as the lender since 2011. Federal grant funds were used to subsidize and reduce the interest rate of market priced capital provided to consumers by the capital provider, and as a loan loss reserve to provide additional security for the otherwise unsecured loans available through the program. Due to limited funding, the money used to support the MHELP loan program has been exhausted, causing the program to terminate.
MCEC Executive Director Kathy Magruder said, “This lending program was innovative when we first introduced it to help drive he market for energy efficiency. We believe the MHELP successfully achieved the goals we set, and has proven to be of value to Maryland consumers and contractors alike.”
During the past 6 years, the MHELP initiative leveraged approximately $4 million in ARRA funds to facilitate over $30,000,000 in loan financing to almost 4,000 Maryland Homeowners for clean energy improvements. These loans funded measures which saved approximately 13 million KW hours of energy along with the associated costs to consumers, and has provided for more than 65,000 work hours to local contractors.
“The MHELP program was the least expensive financing we could offer our customers, and the program was efficiently run so we hate to see it end”, said Michael Giangrandi, chairman of the Maryland Alliance of Energy Contractors.
“Mariner Finance is proud of what this program has accomplished, and appreciates the opportunity it has had to work with MHELP and to assist the MCEC in its mission of advancing clean energy and energy efficient products in the State of Maryland and to Maryland consumers.”, said Senior Vice President Curtis Mackinson.
MCEC will continue working to facilitate access to capital for clean energy and energy efficiency improvements for consumers but, at this time, is uncertain about the future of programs which would potentially serve the residential market sector. “MHELP certainly demonstrated there is demand and need for access to capital for homeowners to take steps to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes,” said Magruder, “we would like to find new sources of funding to continue serving this market in the future.”
ABOUT THE MARYLAND CLEAN ENERGY CENTER
Maryland Clean Energy Center was created as an instrumentality of state created by the Maryland General Assembly in 2008 with an economic development mission to advance the adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency products, services and technologies. The MCEC also supports innovation and technology deployment to help achieve state renewable energy generation, energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. MCEC uses statute enabled financing authority to leverage private capital investments and provide financing to assist residential, commercial, municipal, and not-for-profit consumers.
ABOUT MARINER FINANCE
Founded in 2002 by a group of leading expert in the consumer finance industry, Mariner Finance was established to provide customers with creative, flexible, and convenient lending options. Mariner Finance and its affiliates have over 450 branches in 22 states around the country.