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What’s the Best Way to Pay for Energy Home Improvements?

September 12, 2019

Energy improvements to your home can often pay for themselves over time with energy-cost savings and increased home comfort, but they can be expensive. Certainly, the best option for most homeowners to pay for an energy efficiency home improvement such as heating & cooling, windows, roofing, siding or insulation may be to use cash or access their home equity line of credit.

But for many homeowners these Improvements ($2,500 to $25,000) come as a surprise and un-budgeted major capital expense and can often fall into their financing “twilight zone” – too big for a credit card, too small for a home equity loan.

Short-term promotional financing programs or cumbersome traditional financing aren’t the answer for many consumers faced with expensive energy improvements. Without a fast turn-around, fairly priced longer-term monthly payment financing alternative homeowners often end up installing a cheaper, less efficient upgrade or sometimes not making the improvement at all.

Many financing options, even those that look like “zero percent”, can turn into 25 or 30% interest rates after the promotional term or if you are a couple days late with your payment. And savvy consumers understand that the cost of subsidizing “zero percent” or other artifically low rates for longer term unsecured financing ultimately may result in a higher price for the product (somebody has to pay for it!). Sometimes, your utility or state may subsidize the program which does not add to the cost to you, so make sure to check out those programs.

The National Energy Improvement Fund is a Certified B Corp lender, meeting the highest standards of social and environmental impact. NEIF focuses on increasing the affordability of energy improvements through transparent, simple interest, fixed rate, low payment unsecured installment loans with no fees to the borrower and no pre-payment penalties. Special features include:

  • Finance 100% of your energy improvement from $2,500 to $25,000
  • True Fixed Rate, Fixed Monthly Payment
  • 3, 5 or 10 Year Terms
  • NO adjustable rate, “teasers” or surprises
  • NO lien on your home
  • NO home equity required
  • NO points, fees or closing costs
  • NO penalty for pre-payment or to pay extra each month to pay off faster
  • Instant Credit Decision, Easy Paperless Process
  • Fully Supported by NEIF’s Energy Lending Specialists
  • Only for work performed by NEIF Approved Contractors

All homeowners who are making qualifying improvements to their primary residence or vacation home (1 to 4 unit on permanent foundation). Good credit and the ability to repay are required. All income levels are eligible. Currently available in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

National Energy Improvement Fund’s EnergyPlus Loan is for energy-related and other improvements to your home. Work must be performed by a NEIF-Approved Contractor. Additional work can be part of the financed project if at least 50% of the improvements are:

  • Heating & Cooling – Furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, air conditioning and all related work
  • Windows, Doors, Siding & Roofing
  • Air Sealing & Insulation
  • Electrical, Plumbing, Kitchens & Baths – including lighting and controls, generators, water heaters, water treatment
  • Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®
  • Geothermal, Solar & Other Energy Projects


  1. Get an Estimate – Contact a NEIF-Approved Contractor to get an estimate for qualifying improvements.
  2. Fast Approval – Apply on-line directly or via your contractor for an instant credit decision.
  3. Installation & Payment to Contractor – Your contractor will send us a copy of your estimate/proposal identifying final price and qualifying improvements. You will receive electronic loan documents for your signature. NEIF pays the contractor when the work is completed to your satisfaction.