A federal initiative designed to encourage homeowners to improve energy efficiency has had little participation in Kansas


 A federal initiative designed to encourage homeowners to improve energy efficiency has had little participation in Kansas.

Some energy auditors hope a partnership proposal from Westar Energy Inc. could save the state program.

Since the state was awarded the stimulus money last November, only 58 Kansas residents have sought loans for projects such as sealing windows and doors, insulation and new windows, The Lawrence Journal-World reported Monday.

The program, called Efficiency Kansas, allows homeowners to take out up to $20,000 for energy efficiency projects. The 38 loans have used about $386,000 of the $38 million, which the state must spend by April 2012.

Until now, the state has partnered with banks and smaller utilities but set no stipulations on how banks lend the money. Many of the banks require homeowners to take out a second mortgage, have a high credit score and 20 percent or more equity in their home.

The loans also came with a 4 percent interest rate.