New grant could help Prairie Village homeowners make energy upgrades

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Homeowners in Prairie Village can now get financial assistance to make their homes more energy efficient.

On Monday the Prairie Village City Council approved funding to establish a Residential Sustainability Grant Program. 

“It’s the city’s way of reinvesting taxpayer dollars back into the community an incentivizing energy efficiency improvements since the city has identified sustainability as one of our top priorities,” Deputy City Administrator Jamie Robichaud said.

The council voted 10-2, with Councilmembers Dan Runion and Sheila Myers voting against the program.

“I don’t support this sustainability grant. At a time when residents are crying about such an increase in property taxes, I just don’t believe it’s right to redistribute taxpayer money to allow people living in $500,000 homes to put solar panels in,” Myers said. 

To qualify residents must be up to date on property tax payments and not have any outstanding code violations on their home. The program will match resident contributions up to 20% with a minimum investment of $2,500 and a maximum of $12,500.

“Residents could get anywhere between $500 and $2,500 from the city in matching funds to make energy efficiency improvements,” Robichaud said. 

Qualifying services include:

  • Energy audit by a certified auditor 
  • Solar panel installation
  • Wind power installation
  • Energy-efficient HVAC
  • Energy-efficient water heater
  • Energy-efficient windows or doors 
  • Insulation
  • Geothermal heating and cooling
  • Duct sealing

Robichaud said there’s no home appraisal value maximum to participate in the program. 

City officials said the fund was established after the city council approved rolling over $20,900 in unused funds from the 2020 Exterior Grant Program.

“We increased the budget for that program in 2020. For the first time ever we weren’t able to spend all of those funds, partially because of COVID, and it was just an increased budget,” Robichaud said. 

All applicants must make their renovations compliant with the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code to receive funding from the city. 

The city will begin accepting applications for the sustainability grant program on May 3. Robichaud said applications for the program will be available on the city website in the next few days.

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