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0% Loan to Help Reduced Your Carbon Footprint

Don’t miss an opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint.  It saves you money and helps the environment – a win for all!

The following is a reprint from the Boston Globe (Staffer Chris Reidy) – appeared originally on June 27, 2012

More residents are taking out Masss Save zero-percent heat loans

The recent heat wave did not slow down applications for the Mass Save zero-percent heat loan program that helps defray costs for local home owners looking to shrink their carbon footprints, said Conservation Services Group, a national energy services company headquartered in Westborough.

In May, Massachusetts residents took out about $3.6 million worth of Mass Save loans, up from $1.24 million for the same month a year ago, Conservation Services Group said. Among the reasons for the increase: Word of mouth has increased awareness of the program along with ongoing marketing efforts for Mass Save.

The Mass Save loan program was launched in 2006 by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources as a way to help overcome the cost barrier to adopting energy saving upgrades. The loans are designed to help Massachusetts residents pay for energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. Residents can apply for these loans through the utilities that provide them with gas and electricity.

(Conservation Services Group counts NStar and National Grid as among the utility companies that make up its clients. Conservation Services Group implements the Mass Save program for National Grid and NStar.)

In some cases, National Grid or NStar will include a mention of conservation rebate measures in the monthly bills it sends out to residents. If a resident expresses interest, he or she can line up a home energy audit. The audit is conducted by Conservation Services Group, which then makes recommendations and helps the resident apply for a loan with a regional bank or credit union that is a participant in the heat-loan program.

Improvements covered by the loans include upgrades to a home’s insulation, heating system, and air conditioning system.

In a statement, Conservation Services Group chief executive Stephen Cowell said: “The Mass Save Heat loan initiative is one of the most successful programs of its kind. In fact, 2011 may have been the single largest year for residential energy efficiency financing in the nation – ever. And we’re well on our way to another successful year.”

Metal Theft on the Rise in Recent Years – guest blogger Kevin Coates (Servpro)

Metal theft on the rise in recent yearsTheft of copper and other metals has been increasing since August 2009 as thieves take advantage of rising prices to turn a profit.Thefts range from irritating to public safety hazards, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). Pipes and wiring are stolen from homes, businesses and even facilities such as airports. One recent incident blacked out the running lights at a California airport, the NICB reports, marking a trend of increasingly severe thefts.There were 25,083 insurance claims for metal thefts from 2009 through 2011, according to the report. This is 81 percent more than the 13,861 identified in the previous report on years 2006 through 2008, although the NICB notes that some thefts do not generate insurance claims and police reports.Business property insurance may be of some help in the event that thieves strip wires or perform similar actions. Damage to electrical infrastructure can pose a safety hazard or simply prevent a facility or piece of equipment from being useful until repairs are effected, interrupting business and adding costs simultaneously.

Kevin Coates   Servpro Billerica

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Change

Did you know that the Federal Housing Administrastion (FHA) is increasing the annual mortgage insurance premium on FHA home loans as of 4/18.  If you are buying a home, you will need to have an active loan application for the property prior to this date in order not to be hit with the increase.

What does this mean?  In simple terms a $163k mortgage with a 3.5% down payment and an anticipated interest rate of 4.875% would go from $1174.441 to $1207.41, an increase of $33 per month or over $300 per year.   For those who have worked hard to save their money to buy house, every dollar counts.

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