Kim Ju-hui (37) is a homemaker living in Sadang-dong, Dongjak-gu. She’s no longer afraid of the 2012 winter cold looming large around the corner. She and her family live in a house built more than 20 years ago. Her three kids used to get coughs a lot in the winter, which made her really concerned. Because of drafty windows, the house always felt chilly. In June of this year, she received a 3 million won loan from the city government and got the windows replaced with double pane windows. The air in the house during late fall became much warmer.
These days, the weather has gotten quite chilly, but she has yet to turn on the boiler because it is warm in the house. Ms. Kim and her kids do not have to worry about drafts this winter. They also expect to reduce their electric bills by more than 12%. The window replacement made their house look much nicer from outside, too.
The city administration offers citizens a special loan for up to 80% of the budget for the replacement of windows, boilers and lighting fixtures with insulated windows, high-efficient boilers and LED lighting fixtures. The maximum loan amount per household is five million won.
The interest rate is 2.5% a year, much lower than any commercial rate. Borrowers can repay their loans over eight years in installments. The loan benefit is available on a first come, first served basis until the funds are exhausted.
The Housing Energy Efficiency Project aims at refurbishing old housing to improve energy efficiency and living conditions in the city.
The city administration signed an MOU with Seoul Guarantee Insurance Company so that low-income families can qualify for a loan without collateral. The company guarantees them to financial institutions.