Focus on Energy: WHEDA Makes it Easier To Purchase a Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Home

MEDIA CONTACT:
Tim Wirtz
Hoffman York
414-225-9522
[email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gov. Jim Doyle announces expanded debt-to-income limit for buyers of energy efficient homes

MADISON, Wis. (March 10, 2004) – Governor Jim Doyle has announced that the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Association (WHEDA) will provide homebuyers financial assistance toward the purchase of Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes.

“I have directed WHEDA to develop a new component to their loans that will recognize the financial benefits of owning a Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Home,” Doyle said. “WHEDA will relax the debt-to-income limit for anyone purchasing a home built to Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes standards, making these homes an even smarter purchase.”

The Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes program is part of Focus on Energy – Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency initiative. The program promotes homes that are comfortable, safe, durable and energy efficient. By choosing a builder who is a program partner, Wisconsin residents are ensuring they are getting a home that is built to exceed nationally recognized building standards. Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes incorporate building standards that are more specific to Wisconsin’s extreme weather and they are, on average, up to 25 percent more energy efficient than homes built to Wisconsin’s Uniform Dwelling Code. To date, more than 2000 Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes have been built statewide.

“This is an exciting announcement for Focus on Energy and the Wisconsin ENERGY STAR Homes program,” said Janet Brandt, executive director of Focus on Energy’s residential programs. “Now more than ever, it is possible for every Wisconsin resident to build an energy efficient, high quality home.”

In addition to his announcement on the new WHEDA loan, Gov. Doyle awarded the 2004 Governor’s Awards for excellence in the building industry. Winners include: Schmidt Bros. Custom Homes, Appleton, Wis., for Builder of the Year; Wausau Homes, Inc., Wausau, Wis., as the Ally of the Year; Hans Hoffmann of Hoffmann Energy Consultants, Madison, Wis., as the Building Performance Consultant of the Year and a special Focus on Energy “Commitment to Excellence” award to Joe Nagan of Home Building Technology Services, Kaukauna, Wis.

About Focus on Energy
Focus on Energy is a public-private partnership offering energy information and services to energy utility customers throughout Wisconsin. The goals of this program are to encourage energy efficiency and use of renewable energy, enhance the environment and ensure the future supply of energy for Wisconsin. Since July 2001, the program has helped Wisconsin’s businesses and residents reduce their annual energy consumption by more than 304.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and more than 13.7 million therms of natural gas. For more information, call 800-762-7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.