PORTAL to Help Homeowners Save Money on Energy

BY: Susan Keltner, PORTAL Program Liaison/Communications Coordinator
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner July 10, 2008,  Section A3

Home energy bills are increasing with the price of fuel and winter is fast approaching. Improving home energy efficiency is one way Interior residents can battle increasing energy prices.

Fortunately, the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) has recently launched a new consulting service to help Interior Alaska residents access programs and information they can use to improve the energy efficiency of their home. The Portal on Retrofits Training and Loans (PORTAL) can help homeowners save money on their energy bills by facilitating their entry into AHFC’s weatherization, rebate and loan programs. The PORTAL can also help Interior residents learn how to complete energy efficiency improvements on their own by signing them up for free classes and providing useful literature on weatherization techniques.

By visiting the PORTAL, homeowners will be able to work with staff who will facilitate access to the following AHFC programs:

  • Home Energy Rebate Program, which offers up to $10,000 to those who complete home energy efficiency improvements recommended by an energy rater.
  • The Second Mortgage Program, which provides loans up to $30,000 for projects recommended by an energy rater. 
  • The Weatherization Program, which provides low-income clients with free weatherization.  Homeowners can either be referred by the PORTAL or they can contact Interior Weatherization on their own. However, the Weatherization Program paperwork will need to be directly submitted to Interior Weatherization. 

The PORTAL will host free training programs offered by the Cooperative Extension Service designed to teach homeowners how to take home improvement projects into their own hands and complete the energy efficiency renovation work themselves.

The PORTAL is a partnership between CCHRC, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. It is open from 10 to 7 Mon-Fri and Saturday from 12-5 at 326 Driveway Street, behind the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and across from the old railroad depot. For more information, stop by, call 455-HEAT or visit the PORTAL online at www.cchrc.org/portal.