LGFCU CEO Maurice Smith, 29-year member

For some households, one of the biggest expenses is utility bills — the cost of heating and cooling one’s home, keeping the lights on and running appliances. This expense is called a household’s energy burden.

Your energy burden is calculated by dividing the total utility bill by total gross income. The average household energy burden is 3%. An energy burden over 6% may be unaffordable for a family. Our research indicates many member households have energy burdens as high as 27%. This is the equivalent of a mortgage payment, and could mean that food, education, transportation and health care take a back seat in the budget.

Your Credit Union wants to help you lower your energy burden, as a way you can save money and build wealth. We do this by making loans to improve the energy efficiency of your home or vehicle, with things like new appliances and better weatherization, or making the switch to an electric vehicle or more modern model.

To know if an energy-related loan would make sense for you, first calculate your energy burden. Second, compare the cost of a loan to what you can save in utility bills. You can use a home equity loan, personal loan or credit card to pay for improvements to your home. Our vehicle financing terms depend on whether the vehicle is new or used.

The Credit Union has calculators to help you estimate your loan payments, and the automobile or home improvement provider you choose can help you calculate projected energy savings. If the savings are higher than the loan payments, the trade-off may be in your favor.

Lowering your energy burden to save money can be a worthwhile decision. Doing our part to save the planet is an extra bonus.

 

Maurice Smith's signature

LGFCU CEO Maurice Smith
29-year member