Weatherize Upper Valley Resources
What does it mean to “Weatherize” my home?
Lower Energy Bills | Increased Comfort | Why Not?
Most weatherization projects focus on air sealing and insulation, typically the two most cost effective ways to reduce drafts, increase comfort, and reduce energy costs. All weatherization projects should be completed by a Building Performance Institute certified contractor. BPI contractors are trained to take a whole-home approach to improving your home’s efficiency, comfort, health, and safety.
The cost of any particular weatherization project may vary greatly – from less than $5,000 to more than $12,000 – depending on how much work your home needs and how much work you decide to do. Your weatherization project will include:
- Energy efficiency improvements as agreed upon between you and your contractor
- Any necessary health and safety improvements, and
- All required tests/diagnostics to qualify you for any available rebates
Rebates are available in both New Hampshire and Vermont to help you pay for your weatherization project.
- VT – Efficiency Vermont’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program (up to $2,000)
- NH – NHsaves Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program offered through your electric utility (up to $4,000 but reserved for homes that use the most energy per square foot)
Low cost financing is also available. Many lenders offer secured and unsecured loans designed specifically for borrowers investing in home energy improvements.
Programs for Low Income Earners
Neighborworks of Western Vermont, Opportunities Credit Union, and VSECU each offer 0% and 2.99% loans to low and moderate income Vermonters for energy efficient home improvements. Learn more on our Financing Resources page.
Low Income Weatherization
Statewide program offering FREE energy assessments and weatherization for income-eligible Vermonters.
- Orange County – Capstone Community Action
CapstoneVT.org/Weatherization or 800.639.1053
- Windsor County – Southeast Vermont Community Action (SEVCA)
SEVCA.org or 800.464.9951
(New Hampshire residents can access free, income eligible weatherization programs by calling their electric utility)
COVER Home Repair
COVER Home Repair offers FREE home weatherization services to income-eligible residents within 45 mins of White River Junction (VT and NH). While not as comprehensive as the state’s “Low Income Weatherization” program, COVER’s volunteer teams often have a shorter wait list and still result in meaningful energy savings and increased comfort.
Other Related Resources
Modern Wood Heat
Fully automated central wood pellet systems are a clean, efficient, affordable, renewable and hands-free heating option for homes and commercial buildings. Current Vermont incentives for modern wood heat systems: $2,000 from Efficiency Vermont and up to $3,500 from the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund. Learn More
Live in New Hampshire? The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission offers a rebate of 40% (up to $10,000 as of Dec. 2016) for residents installing modern wood pellet boilers. Learn More
Cold climate air source heat pumps are highly efficient heating units that extract heat from outside air to heat your home, even if it’s below zero outside. Heat pumps can also cool your home in the summer, more efficiently than window air conditioners. Efficiency Vermont provides an $800 incentive for purchasing select ENERGY STAR heat pumps.
Live in New Hampshire? NHSaves also offers rebates for heat pumps. Learn More
Heat Pump Water Heaters
Heat pump hot water heaters extract heat from inside air to heat your domestic hot water. They also efficiently dehumidify the room in which they are located. Efficiency Vermont provides a $600 incentive for purchasing select ENERGY STAR heat pump water heaters.
Live in New Hampshire? NHSaves also offers rebates for heat pump hot water heaters. Learn More
Building a New Home?
With no cost to participate, Efficiency Vermont’s Residential New Construction (RNC) Service works with architects, builders, developers, and home owners building new homes in Vermont or with existing homes undergoing a complete rehabilitation. You can expect improved comfort, durability, and significant annual energy savings in an Efficiency Vermont Certified new home. Additional benefits include expert technical assistance throughout the project, cash incentives between $500 and $2,000, and third party performance testing and certification to verify the home’s efficiency. Learn More
Live in New Hampshire? NHSaves also has an Energy Star Homes program for new construction with great rebates and support. Learn More
A roof or ground-mounted home solar array can offset most or all of you electric use with renewable energy. Residential systems typically cost $20-$25,000 before tax credits and incentives. Any solar installer can provide a free home visit and quote. Learn More
Frequently Asked Questions
What about Weatherize in New Hampshire?
Vital Communities plans to expand Weatherize into New Hampshire in 2018. We’ll be recrutiting communities and contractors starting in August 2017.
Contact Paige Heverly (Sarah@VitalCommunities.org) if you are interested in bringing Weatherize to your town.
In the meantime, it’s worth finding out whether your home qualifies for the NHSaves Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Homes with high energy use per square foot are eligible for incentives up to half of project cost (up to $4,000). Click here to learn more and find out if you qualify.
What if I don't live in a Weatherize community?
No problem – you can still weatherize your home this year. Check out our Resources Page to learn more. Or click on your state below to explore programs in Vermont and New Hampshire
How can I bring Weatherize to my town?
This first round of Weatherize Upper Valley is a pilot. If we are successful, we plan to expand into more communities. Contact Sarah (Sarah@VitalCommunities.org) to let Vital Communities know you’d like to see your town on the list.
How long will it take to Weatherize my home?
It could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months from the moment you first speak with your contractor to the moment you receive your rebate after the project is completed. This will depend on how quickly you decide to move forward, how many other jobs your contractor has in the queue, and how ready you are to begin the work.
Getting approval for financing does not generally slow down the process. As your contractor to make your agreement contingent on you ability to secure financing. Learn more about available financing options.
Once your contractor is on site to start the work, your project will be completed within a few days, depending on how much work is being done.
If your contractor is using spray foam as part of your project, they will likely ask you to vacate the house during the installation and while the foam is hardening. You may need to find another place to stay that night!
I can't afford to do every recommended improvement right now, can I pick and choose pieces of my contractor's proposed scope of work?
Yes. Talk with your contractor about your priorities and your budget up front. They will present a scope of work and then work with you to decide what makes sense to tackle right now.
What if I rent my home?
If you’re a renter, we suggest you talk with your landlord. They are eligible to participate in Efficiency Vermont programs and can even take advantage of Weatherize if your building is residential in scale. As a first step, encourage your landlord to talk with an expert from Efficiency Vermont to help them understand their options.
There are some do-it-yourself measures you can take on yourself – but be sure to seek permission from your landlord first.