Billions of dollars are needed statewide for energy-efficient upgrades, and through a collaboration between California Public Utilities Commission and the state’s major investor-owned utilities, private companies are offering attractive rates and terms that can help residents secure funds.

Programs such as GoGreen Financing’s Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program help homeowners and renters finance a wide range of energy upgrades, from heating and air conditioning to windows and insulation, with up to 30 percent of a loan available for nonenergy items, such as kitchen cabinets and flooring. An important part of the program is providing traditionally underserved communities with access to attractive credit that allows them to upgrade their homes.

Jesse Flores and his family in El Cajon, California, knew their home needed to be more energy efficient, but they weren’t sure they had the financial resources to improve it. The biggest problem was an inefficient water heater that couldn’t provide enough hot water throughout their home. It ran constantly, adding greatly to their monthly utility bills.

Flores contacted a local contractor who recommended a tankless water heater to save energy and more efficiently distribute hot water throughout the property. During a walkthrough assessment, the contractor found other areas that would benefit from energy-efficient upgrades, like a new furnace and smart thermostat in the home and a heat pump air-handling system for the rental unit.

“The affordable monthly payments really helped,” Flores says. “We made more home improvements than we originally planned, which improved the efficiency and comfort of our home while staying within our budget.”

 Whether you want to reduce your home’s energy usage, improve its comfort or just “go green,” programs are available to help make the financing possible.