US plans rural homes efficiency rule

The United States has put forward plans for a scheme to boost energy efficiency in rural homes and businesses throughout America with the help of federal loans. US Agriculture Secretary […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The United States has put forward plans for a scheme to boost energy efficiency in rural homes and businesses throughout America with the help of federal loans.

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new energy efficiency effort, which will offer federal loans to rural electric cooperatives to re-lend to their customers who want to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

Mr Vilsack said: “The upfront costs of energy improvements often preclude homeowners and businesses from investing in cost-effective, energy efficiency upgrades. This rule will help make those costs more affordable through increased lending opportunities.”

The US Department for Agriculture says the programme will also create jobs for contractors who retrofit homes to make them more energy efficient and help to reduce the USA’s dependence on foreign oil.