Keystone HELP Program Hits 10,000th Loan Milestone; Continues to Create Jobs, Save Homeowners Money, and Clean Environment, says Treasurer McCord

Treasurer McCord visits Allentown home that benefited from program

Allentown – August 31, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — State Treasurer Rob McCord today marked a major milestone in Pennsylvania’s nationally recognized Keystone Home Energy Loan Program, which recently issued its 10,000th loan to make homes more energy efficient. The Treasurer said aside from the number of loans, he likes to focus on the jobs, energy savings, and environmental benefits the program has made possible.

“It’s a tremendous accomplishment for the Keystone HELP program to have issued 10,000 loans to date, but I think it’s really instructive to examine what those low-interest loans have made possible,” said Treasurer McCord. “Families are saving over $2.3 million annually on their utility and fuel bills because they’re using less energy. And because they’re using less energy, their combined carbon footprint is much lower, which is great for our environment.”

Treasurer McCord said the energy savings associated with Keystone HELP-financed home improvements prevent over 22,500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, or the equivalent of taking 4,000 cars off the road.

“All of this would not be possible, however, without the more than 1,800 skilled and certified contracting firms that perform this work,” said Treasurer McCord. “Thanks to this program, we have small-, medium-, and large-sized companies across the state who are trained especially to do this type of work. These are true ‘green collar’ jobs that embody the potential of a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania if we make energy efficiency and conservation part of our overall energy policy.”

Treasurer McCord said each Keystone HELP project is responsible for about 31 hours of work, so estimates are that the 10,000 loans made through the program to date have supported a full year’s worth of work for 150 employees.

“Keystone HELP is one of the most successful energy efficiency lending programs in the country thanks to a really effective public-private partnership. It’s serving as a prototype for other states on how to make energy efficiency affordable for more homeowners,” said Peter Krajsa, chairman and CEO of AFC First Financial Corporation, the energy efficiency lender that administers Keystone HELP.

Treasurer McCord and Mr. Krajsa made their remarks today during a visit to the home of Michelle and Dave Olson. The Olsons recently used a Keystone HELP loan to replace an old, inefficient oil heater with a more energy efficient natural gas unit. The couple also added insulation to their home in order to prevent heat from escaping, which can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars per year.

Keystone HELP is an innovative, national leader in providing low-interest loans to homeowners for energy conservation improvements such as replacing inefficient windows, heating and cooling units; adding insulation; or making “whole house” improvements. The Pennsylvania Treasury worked with AFC First Financial Corp. of Allentown and the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund to launch the program statewide in 2006. In 2009, the program began to offer even lower interest rates when Treasury partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to expand the program’s impact by using funds appropriated under Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Investment Act. Last year, the program began to use federal stimulus funds to support even lower rates for homeowners.

To date, the program has made more than 10,000 loans in 66 Pennsylvania counties worth more than $68 million.

The federal government regularly recognizes Keystone HELP and the work of AFC First as a model for how the private and public sectors can collaborate to finance residential energy efficiency improvements. The U.S. Department of Energy last year designated AFC First as the nation’s first private sector Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor. The designation means Pennsylvania families that pursue money-saving home energy efficiency improvements through Keystone HELP will benefit from improved affordability and higher training standards for contractors.

“I believe we are just beginning to scratch the surface of this program’s full potential,” said Treasurer McCord. “As we continue to develop and identify new opportunities to expand the program, I think you can expect more good news in the future – good news for families who hope to finance home energy improvements, and for the men and women in our construction and manufacturing sectors who are standing by ready to meet the demand for this type of work.”

For more information on Keystone HELP, visit keystonehelp.com or patreasury.gov.

Media contact: Michael Smith, 717-787-2991 or

Editor’s Note: The following list provides the number of Keystone HELP loans made in each respective county and the total value of those loans, by county:

Adams 107 $802,067
Allegheny 742 $4,290,972
Armstrong 10 $59,389
Beaver 161 $1,051,431
Bedford 12 $98,686
Berks 692 $4,848,705
Blair 73 $504,007
Bradford 12 $77,973
Bucks 773 $5,501,495
Butler 48 $294,104
Cambria 39 $263,705
Carbon 57 $385,358
Centre 69 $465,246
Chester 412 $3,275,862
Clarion 11 $68,016
Clearfield 70 $501,392
Clinton 31 $222,139
Columbia 9 $79,959
Crawford 127 $856,854
Cumberland 261 $1,919,905
Dauphin 327 $2,386,938
Delaware 425 $3,410,279
Elk 18 $114,081
Erie 254 $1,434,097
Fayette 83 $534,222
Forest 7 $58,488
Franklin 105 $641,633
Greene 9 $50,694
Huntingdon 18 $101,062
Indiana 35 $238,294
Jefferson 36 $233,027
Juniata 9 $54,723
Lackawanna 64 $421,973
Lancaster 1165 $8,508,952
Lawrence 27 $183,042
Lebanon 174 $1,143,167
Lehigh 574 $3,948,002
Luzerne 103 $620,646
Lycoming 31 $213,247
McKean 15 $112,131
Mercer 31 $186,710
Mifflin 49 $298,939
Monroe 94 $598,718
Montgomery 749 $5,998,995
Montour 34 $240,057
Northampton 460 $3,085,906
Northumberland 85 $543,612
Perry 17 $124,781
Philadelphia 283 $2,036,721
Pike 29 $186,358
Potter 6 $55,633
Schuylkill 69 $500,679
Snyder 7 $39,145
Somerset 29 $189,410
Sullivan 21 $123,311
Susquehanna 29 $140,011
Tioga 2 $12,750
Union 38 $276,125
Venango 33 $214,255
Warren 15 $109,402
Washington 119 $752,941
Wayne 27 $164,791
Westmoreland 192 $1,085,202
Wyoming 22 $136,711
York 464 $3,334,114

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