I borrowed money via the Climate Smart loan program back in 2009 thinking that it was a great way to finance energy improvements to my house. In my case windows and insulation upgrades. I am now selling my house and need to pay off the loan. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the program added about 16% in fees to the principle of the loan! If Boulder County was a credit card company, they would be hauled in front of Congress and rightly criticized for gouging and misleading their customers. The Climate Smart program was touted as a way to get inexpensive loans to help homeowners improve the carbon footprint of Boulder County. Instead it has become the most expensive homeowners loan I have ever had. I’ve owned four houses over the last 18 years and Climate Smart’s effective interest rate is equal to the 9.4% loan on first home back in 1994. Even worse, the 16% in fees is effectively an early payoff penalty.
If there is any discussion of continuing this plan, please remember this awful management of the program and don’t renew it. Underwriting home loans written by private sector banks will likely result in far better deals for the people of Boulder County.