Does PowerSaver Strike the Right Balance?

Christina Lewellen
April 26, 2011
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

Some interesting news this week from HUD and DOE. In the Obama Administration's continuing efforts to encourage energy efficient upgrades to the nation’s residential housing stock, the PowerSaver lending program is now open for business.

In a nutshell, homeowners with decent credit and some equity in their homes are eligible to seek low-interest loans for up to $25,000 to complete significant energy efficiency upgrades. The lenders in the pilot are committed to making these loans and the government (HUD) will back them in the event of default. The government is expecting to assist around 30,000 homeowners and create about 3,000 jobs, says HUD. Maybe even more over time if the program gains traction in the marketplace.

So share some thoughts with me. Do you like the concept? Is this a healthy way for HUD to accomplish its objective of more efficient homes without stretching the federal budget?   Do you think it will help more homeowners secure the financing they need to tackle their window and door replacement projects? What about the impact on your business?  If you sell replacement windows or doors, would this help you? Or do you see this helping a limited number of companies at your expense? Please send me an email or post below to share your thoughts.


Survey Results as of 5/3/2011:


The PowerSaver pilot lending program will:

Fail to have much impact.




Encourage efficiency upgrades on a limited basis.




Help homeowners and our business on a widespread basis.




 While the majority of voters this week indicate that PowerSaver lending will fail to have a significant impact, my guess is that this is good news for the energetic supporters of the program.

As with many other marketing programs, financing incentives or even emerging regulations, there are always a select few companies that jump on the bandwagon quickly and strike while the proverbial iron is hot. So while nearly 65 percent of respondents this week are shrugging their shoulders and waving off the widespread impact of PowerSaver lending, there’s a hungry 20 percent to 30 percent of window and door companies that believe in the impact of the program.
To the minority who embrace the program, the new financing avenue may open up significant opportunities for additional business. You can be certain that we’ll circle back around to this topic in the coming months to see what sort of impact PowerSaver financing is having in the market, but in the meantime, pleasefeel free to email me if your company is experiencing impressive success in marketing the program to your homeowners.
My suspicion is that I’ll receive a few upbeat stories that tell the tale of gangbuster success for the few who embraced the program while the majority of nay-sayers continue to assert that it won’t resonate with American homeowners.

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at

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The VA allows VA borrowers to borrow additional funds to install Energy Efficient Upgrades to the home simultaneously when purchasing a new home with a VA Loan or Refinancing an existing loan. you can always check a credit score any Free Credit Score websites 

There are specific VA guidelines for utilizing this program and the funds can only be used for installation of certain and specified energy efficient upgrades. The following is a list of some of the features that can be installed as outlined by the VA. In addition to this list, there may be other eligible energy efficient upgrades items that must be approved by the VA Lender and the VA:

  • Solar Panels
  • Energy efficient heating and cooling systems
  • Energy efficient water heater
  • Insulation
  • Weather stripping and caulking windows and doors
  • Storm doors and windows

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