AFC first private company named Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor; Keystone HELP to use program’s national “whole house” energy efficiency standards
Harrisburg, PA – November 17, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Energy’s designation of Allentown-based AFC First Financial Corporation as a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor means Pennsylvania families that pursue money-saving home energy-efficiency improvements through the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program will benefit from higher standards, State Treasurer Rob McCord said today.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and home comfort that adheres to strict installation standards and requires energy efficiency contracting certification. The Keystone Home Energy Loan Program, or Keystone HELP, is a partnership of Treasury, AFC, the state Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.
“This designation – the first of its kind for a private company – is a testament to AFC First’s work, which helps families save money by saving energy,” Treasurer McCord said. “Keystone HELP already has helped 8,800 homeowners finance more than $60 million in energy efficiency home improvements. Now, AFC will be able to offer its innovative financing options paired with a network of contractors who are trained to meet high quality standards.”
According to the ENERGY STAR website, more than 110,000 families have improved their homes with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. These homes are warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and cheaper to own all year.
The federal Department of Energy typically designates utilities, states, municipalities, and nonprofit organizations as Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsors. AFC First is the first private entity nationally to be named a sponsor, and the company is the only sponsor in Pennsylvania.
As a sponsor, AFC will couple the federal program with its financing programs to improve affordability for consumers and improve training to contractors on comprehensive energy improvements. AFC’s initial integration of Home Performance will be with Keystone HELP. AFC First administers Keystone HELP. The program has offered affordable energy efficiency financing options since 2006 for Pennsylvania homeowners to purchase and install energy efficient equipment or to undertake whole-house improvements that will help reduce energy consumption.
Treasury partnered with DEP in 2009 to further enhance Keystone HELP by lowering rates on loans with the help of funds from Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Investment Act. The lower rates helped to expand the program’s impact.
Presently and for a limited time, Keystone HELP is also offering special, reduced interest rates to victims of flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Media contact: Michael Smith, 717-787-2991 or