May 14, 2010 by admncc
My city recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. As a result, the city advertised that residents could apply for free monies under this program to use towards weatherization.
One of the parameters under which you could apply for money was to use it to buy a new energy-efficient furnace. That caught my eye, so I called the city to inquire. The woman who answered the phone told me that residents could receive between $1,000 and $2,500, based on their income, and that the monies could also be used towards new windows.
We have a home warranty in place, so even though our furnace is older, it’s not a big deal, because it’s covered under the warranty. But a free new one would still be nice! The woman at the city told me that because my wife and I both work, we’d qualify for the minimum, $1,000. I knew I could buy and install a top-of-the-line furnace for less than $1,000. So I asked her to mail me the application.
The woman at the city had told me that their phone was ringing off the hook, so I figured I better act quickly. I received the application, completed it and mailed it back the same day. A few days ago, the woman called me back. Apparently my application had been approved, but she said all applications were contingent on the “final step.” First, we had to agree to undergo an energy efficiency test in our home. I expected that because if we’re going to use their money to get a free new furnace, they obviously would want to verify that our home could benefit from it. But much to my surprise, they needed a lot more information. This is what they requested:
- Last four pay stubs
- 2009 W-2’s
- 2009 income tax returns
- Latest savings account statement
- Latest checking account statement
- Latest monthly mortgage statement
- Homeowner’s policy
And they wanted this information for both my wife and me. I felt they were asking for too much information. They said they needed documentation to justify the grant money and where it was going, because every resident was eligible to apply, no matter what their income was.
Needless to say, we passed on the offer because we questioned why they needed so much personal information about us and we felt as though we weren’t being told everything