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Archive for Sunday, December 3, 2006

KEEP helps homeowners weatherize

December 3, 2006

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— Homeowners could receive low-interest loans to reduce their energy bills under a new state program.

The Kansas Energy Efficiency Program, or KEEP, provides low-interest loans to purchase energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and make other conservation home improvements.

"This is a great way to help Kansans keep costs down, stay warm through the winter and conserve energy," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said. "I hope many Kansas families consider this as an option."

The $2 million funding for KEEP was part of Sebelius' budget recommendation.

Under the program, the Kansas Housing Resources Corp. provides an interest-free loan up to a maximum of $7,500 that is blended with a private bank loan.

The zero interest rate on KHRC funds translates into a lower rate than obtained through a normal second mortgage loan.

To be eligible, households must make the state median income or less. For example, a household of four people would have to earn $65,777 per year or less.

Sunflower Bank, a family-owned bank with 34 locations, including one in Lawrence, is the official lender for KEEP.

Home improvements allowed under KEEP include:

l Installing specified ENERGY STAR propane furnaces, central air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters and ventilation systems.

l Installing wall and floor insulation, new doors and windows, and weather-stripping.

l Air sealing, duct work and the purchase of certain ENERGY STAR appliances such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and programmable thermostats.

For more information about KEEP, contact Sunflower Bank at (888) 827-5564 or visit the bank's Web site at www.sunflowerbank.com, or the KHRC Web site at www.kshousingcorp.org/programs/KEEP_Forms.shtml.

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