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Natural Awakenings Chicago

EI2 Offers Rebates and Loan Options

Mar 26, 2013 09:26AM ● By Carrie Jackson

The Energy Impact Illinois (EI2) program significantly helps offset energy improvement costs by offering a rebate of up to $1,750 toward insulation installed by an EI2 approved contractor that will lower home energy use by 15 percent or more.

Costs of the improvements will depend on the scope of the improvements—for example, insulation will cost more than maintenance on a furnace. GreenChoice Bank, with three locations in the Chicagoland area, has partnered with the EI2 program to provide loans for people that want to undertake a home improvement project, but may not have the funding up front.

Jon Levey, a co-founder of GreenChoice, is committed to helping people fund projects to make homes more efficient. “Anybody who owns a home can apply for the loan,” he says. “It’s not Better Buildings Department of Energymerit-based, but rather this program is engineered to assist as many homeowners as possible in making energy efficient retrofits to their properties.”

GreenChoice is the only bank that lends specifically for the EI2 program. Unsecured loans up to $10,000 can be made, and the bank funds the contractors directly so that the homeowner pays only their portion of the improvement cost—typically 10 percent of the total bill. For more information about the loan program, visit

The bank is hosting an open house from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., April 6, at each branch so homeowners can learn about energy rebates for single-family homes and from two to four flats, reduced cost or free home energy assessments and how to reduce energy bills ( Architect and designer Energy Impact IllinoisLenore Weiss will host a party at 7 p.m., April 3, in Northbrook. Email her at [email protected] to RSVP.

EI2 will waive the $99 assessment fee if the homeowner agrees to host a house party for other prospective participants. These house parties are held throughout the Chicagoland area and allow people to learn about the process together. For more information about attending one of these parties, email Mary Edsey at [email protected]. The EI2 rebates expire on May 15, so homeowners would be wise to sign up soon.