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It's expensive: So true, with credit risk (personal or HELOC rates ranging 4%-26%) or without credit (cash savings ranging nominal $8K-$20K, or $4K/ton CFM SEER|HSPF base case, excluding labor cost). Yet I myself, a "very low-income" home-owner, resident in MD's murder capitol intend to do just that.

My journey in earnest began 1.5 years after purchasing a vintage 1997 "V2V" row house (NO ATTIC), when the roof of  sprung several storm leaks. My 1.75 year RFQ search for reputable trade to repair|rebuild roof ($7.8K) and interior water damage ($TBD) literally exposed the decrepit HVAC system (ductwork, circuitry, and vintage insulation), coupled to vintage air exchange units (int gas furnace, ext A/C cooling). Additionally, I've paid OOP for a couple, strategically placed drywall rip-outs ($1.5K), which I later learned, inexplicably disqualifies me for the prerequisite "energy audit" performed by the sole utility sponsor (BGE/Excelon) in my area.

Three RFPs later, I'm sitting on the best-cost system replacement ($12.5K 2.5 ton pump and duct design, 14 SEER, 30K BTU inc labor) and no means to execute it. My savings are exhausted.

What have I learned so far?
To date, homeowner (and renter) "incentives" (grants, no-low interest loans) for high-efficiency equipment install, funded by municipal and state agencies, where I live, are not fit for purpose. Dare I say, eligibility and consideration--absent bona fide total system failure--are designed to discourage application AND settlement amount approved for scope of work, much less disbursement. According a local agency "workshop" presentation (6 Sep 2021), current application back-log is +1 year.

As is the custom in US America, the "green zone" of DSIRE is not what it appears to be.

by Cat on Sun Sep 12th, 2021 at 04:19:43 PM EST
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