Blog by All-Star Home Inspection Services LLC.

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Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM)

It seems that Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) are becoming very popular again.  So far this year we have done 8 EEM Energy Ratings to help consumers comply with the FHA program. Buyers that have used the EEM option have been able to afford energy efficient upgrades in addition to the purchase of their homes. These upgrades include replacing drafty windows, adding insulation, replacing older heating & cooling systems, and weatherizing.

The amount the buyer can borrow with an FHA EEM is 5% of the home’s value up to $8,000.00.  As part of the program, the FHA EEM requires that the house be analyzed by a certified Energy Rater before and after the upgrades have been made.  The Energy Rater analyzes the home’s characteristics and enters its data into a energy modeling software program.  The software calculates the home’s energy consumption and makes recommendations about which upgrades are most appropriate.  The extra EEM money is then used for the energy efficient upgrades, which make the home more affordable and more comfortable.  

In one EEM Rating that we did late last year, the buyer was single mother of three buying her first home.  It was an older 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with single pane aluminum windows next to a busy park.  She knew that she wanted to upgrade the old windows but didn’t know how to get it done, or how she could afford it.  Her realtor suggested an EEM as the perfect solution.  The recommended improvements for this house after we ran the calculations were for new windows and for duct leakage sealing. The lender closed escrow and then paid her $4000.00 for all new dual pane vinyl windows and another $530.00 to get her duct systems sealed.

There are thousands of homes with single pane windows and leaky duct systems in California.  The EEMs are one way for improving the energy efficiency of those homes.  To learn more about EEMs go to  For more information on Energy Ratings please contact us at 209-824-5356.