* What: Home Energy Rating System analyses provided by a regional energy auditing company that help determine cost-effective energy efficiency improvements for homeowners. The analyses allow homeowners to apply for an Energy Efficient Mortgage, which gives borrowers a financing option to qualify for a larger amount and a more efficient house.
* Company: Energy Rater Services
* Location: P. O. Box 759 Madisonville, Tenn.; www.energyraterservices.com
* How it's green: John Chinelli, owner of Energy Rater Services, said he works with homeowners in Southeastern Tennessee to reduce their energy use by as much as 50 percent. Chinelli conducts a series of diagnostic tests on a house, checking for things such as air infiltration and leaky ducts before and after improvements are made. That helps calculate how much energy the homeowner saves.
* How long will it last? Lifetime of the home. Improvements vary depending on what is changed, but most last between 15 and 30 years.
* Why do it this way? After a long history as a Realtor and residential developer in Central Florida, Cinelli began to see a trend of people looking for energy efficiency in their homes and he wanted to provide a service that easily allowed homeowners to obtain financing to improve the efficiency of their houses. "I want to make sure it's cost effective," he said.
* Is environmentalism an essential part of the business? Chinelli said environmentalism is the driving motivation in his services, "but quite frankly, I'm a realist that knows that it's very hard to think about being an environmentalist when you're having trouble paying your bills. I try to be a cost-effective environmentalist, and that's what I love about the EEM mortgage -- if I can't prove it's going to save them more than it costs them, then we can't do it."
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