ASK A BUILDER
BY CCHRC STAFF
The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life.
Q: Many people are fixing their old home and getting a rebate from the state. Is there still rebate money available for building a new home?
The statesponsored Energy Rebate Program for new construction is still active, although continuous longterm funding is uncertain. Any homeowner who builds a home that meets the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) 5Star Plus energy standards is eligible for a $7,500 rebate, however there are some important details that determine who qualifies and a specific process that must be followed.
The program operates from a statewide waiting list on a firstcome, firstserved basis. So the sooner you sign up, the better your chances are for benefiting from the program. The first step is to get on the waiting list. Locally, the staff of CCHRC’s Portal on Retrofits Training and Loans (PORTAL) can guide you every step of the way.
Call 455HEAT (4-328) or contact the AK Rebate Call Center tollfree at1-877AKREBATE (1-877-257-3-228). Once your name reaches the top of the list, AHFC sends out two forms: “5 Star Plus New Construction Energy Rebate Encumbrance Request” and the “5 Star Plus New Construction Energy Rebate Form.” As an ownerbuilder, when you submit the completed forms, you must also include a copy of an energy rating taken from the building plans that validates that the home will meet 5 Star Plus standards, which can be found on the AHFC website: www. ahfc. state.
ak. us. Once AHFC receives and approves the forms, $7,500 is set aside for one year during which the house must be completed.
There are several criteria to meet to be eligible for the program.
Only the original owner qualifies for the rebate, and the home must serve as the primary residence.
If the home is purchased from a builder, it cannot be more than one year old at the time of the first sale. Ownerbuilders can qualify too, however the home cannot be occupied for more than one year from the date of completion.
To qualify if you are an ownerbuilder , you will have to submit the right forms to the state once the home has been completed. These forms include the “Building Energy Efficiency Standard Certification (BEES),” which certifies that the home was built to meet the 5 star Plus thermal and ventilation standards. The form can be signed by a certified home inspector , engineer , energy rater , architect, or the builder if he/ she is approved to certify and has met the current BEES training and testing requirements.
A “Summary of Building Inspection” form must also be submitted, which validates that the home was built in compliance with local building codes. This form must be signed by a statecertified building inspector who has conducted all the inspections during the construction process, starting with the building’s footings. For this reason, it is important to begin the rebate process and hire an inspector before breaking ground on the home. Finally , the finished home must also have an energy audit.
These three forms must be completed, signed by the appropriate authorities, and submitted to AHFC with the reimbursement form. Although this process may sound complicated, the new home construction rebate is a great opportunity for an ownerbuilder or new homebuyer to offset a significant portion of the construction costs, and ultimately enjoy the long term financial and environmental benefits of building an energy efficient home.
Alaska HomeWise articles promote home awareness for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC). If you have a question, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.You can also call the CCHRC at (9-07) 457-3-454.