Minnesota Commerce and Housing Partner to Create More Energy Efficiency Loans

Minnesota consumers now have a new energy efficiency home improvement loan program that allows more people to access low-interest, unsecured loans and make important energy efficiency upgrades, thanks to a partnership of the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

The Commerce Department provided $1 million for a loan loss reserve that allows Minnesota Housing to lend up to $10 million through its Fix Up Loan Program for Minnesota homeowners to make home energy improvements. The loans will help pay for upgrades like new high efficient heating and air conditioning systems, new water heaters, insulation and air sealing, new light fixtures, and replacement windows. Homeowners who qualify may borrow up to $15,000 at a 4.99 percent interest rate without placing a lien on their property.

“This new loan program is a win-win for Minnesota: It strengthens the state’s housing stock and saves energy, reduces carbon emissions, and creates jobs,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman.  “It’s an innovative collaboration of two state agencies combining resources to incentivize energy efficiency.”

Minnesota Housing began offering the 10-year term loans in May; so far about 35 loans have been originated by lenders. The maximum loan amount is $15,000. Minnesota Housing expects that $10 million in available resources can fund 750 to 1,000 loans.  The energy savings from the program will be measured over the course of the loan program.