Vote could make going green in some homes more affordable

WASHINGTON (WCSC) - A vote in the House Thursday could make going green in some homes more affordable.

Congressman Jim Clyburn says the Rural Energy Savings Program is expected to pass in the House Thursday with bipartisan support.

"The concept is very simple: low-cost home improvement loans for energy efficiency upgrades—sealing, insulation, HVAC systems, heat pumps and other structural improvements.  Those low cost loans are paid back on customers' electricity bills, with the energy savings covering the cost of the loan," Clyburn said during a speech on the House floor.

It would enable rural electric customers nationwide to upgrade their homes' energy efficiency. They would then be able to repay the cost on their monthly utility bill.

"We call this the Rural Energy Savings Program, because it will save consumers energy and money.  More importantly, it will put people back to work, particularly in the building and construction trades, and manufacturing industries – sectors that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn," Clyburn said.

South Carolina's electric cooperatives have a pilot program ready to go if the legislation is passed and have authorized the funding for it.

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