The Home Energy Affordability Loan (HEAL), a project of the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Climate Initiative- Arkansas (CCI-AR), is a unique, energy-based employee benefits program designed to improve quality of life, at both the corporate and homeowner levels, by reducing GHG emissions and improving energy performance in commercial and residential buildings. By enlisting employers to offer the HEAL program to qualifying employees and community members, the program is able to make a large-scale and rapid impact in energy usage, GHG emissions and employment opportunities.
The HEAL process begins by identifying energy savings opportunities at the corporate facility level. From there, HEAL helps facilitate a commercial retrofit, with the industry dedicating a portion of the resultant savings to a loan fund accessible to its employees. After tapping the fund to identify and finance residential energy efficiency improvements in their home, the employee then retires the debt through payroll deductions, with a “pay as you save” amortization schedule that ties payments to the savings realized through lower utility bills. This effectively increases the participant’s disposable income over the life of the improvements.
HEAL measures the employee’s GHG emission and energy usage in two ways: first, by collecting twelve (12) months of the participant’s utility data prior to retrofit; second, by conducting a home energy audit, on which the retrofit scope of work, and all reduction estimates, are based. These projections are then verified by tracking the participant’s energy usage in the twelve months immediately following the retrofit. HEAL is also a participant in the first national program designed to pool and monetize residential carbon offsets. The program aims to demonstrate the viability (and sustainability) of a residential carbon market by quantifying energy savings from participating national initiatives, converting the savings to verified emissions certificates, and trading them to participating industries.