Weatherize Upper Valley Resources
What does it mean to “Weatherize” my home?
Lower Energy Bills | Increased Comfort | FREE Quote | Why Not?
All Weatherize Upper Valley projects will go through Efficiency Vermont’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program and will be completed by Building Performance Institute certified contractors.
|IN OUR REGION (data from Efficiency Vermont)|
|Average cost of energy efficiency improvements in our region||$7,800|
|Average rebate from Efficiency Vermont
(up to $2,000 possible based on measures completed,
with additional $500 available for new heating systems)
|Average energy savings as a result of efficiency improvements||26%|
The cost of any particular Weatherize job 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 Weatherize project will include energy efficiency improvements as agreed on between you and your contractor, any necessary health and safety improvements, and all required tests/diagnostics to qualify you for Efficiency Vermont rebates.
Many Vermonters choose to finance these improvements with low cost financing from Vermont lenders, including rates as low as 0% and 2.99%.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to fill out EVERY question in the Home Energy Profile?
Just complete the profile as best you can. Our partner contractors can work with whatever information you are able to give them.
What happens at a Weatherize Home Visit?
Your free home visit should take an hour or so to complete. You will want to be present if you can.
The contractor will want to look around, especially in your basement and attic, as well as anywhere in your home where they might find air leakage or poor insulation. This will give them enough information to provide you with a proposal detailing ways to improve your home’s comfort and reduce your energy bills.
After your home visit, the contractor should send you a proposal (complete with an itemized scope of work) within about a week.
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. Vermont’s two state-supported energy loan programs (Heat Saver and Neighborworks of Western Vermont) offer two day turnaround approval. Learn more.
Once your contractor is on site, 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!
Do I have to work with a Weatherize Contractor?
We want to see you invest in your home’s comfort and energy efficiency by completing a weatherization project with a qualified contractor, regardless of whether that contractor happens to be participating in the Weatherize program. Visit our contractors page to learn how to find other qualified contractors in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Residents in participating communities who work with a Weatherize Partner Contractor and commit to a project by May 31, 2017 are eligible for Weatherize prizes (up to $2,500 toward your Weatherize project).
Our Weatherize Partner Contractors are also offering a free professional home visit and proposal for energy efficiency improvements for Weatherize participants. This is not always the case outside of the Weatherize program.
What can I expect to see in the proposal from my Weatherize Contractor?
The proposal you receive from your Weatherize Contractor will include:
- List of heath and safety concerns and any remediation that will be required in order to qualify for Efficiency Vermont incentives.
- List of recommended measures, including an estimated cost for each.
- Mention of Efficiency Vermont rebates, including an estimate of how large your rebate is likely to be based on the proposed scope of work.
- Mention of necessary test-in and test-out procedures required by Efficiency Vermont in order to qualify for a rebate.
- Workmanship warranty (one year is typical).
- Proportion of project cost required as a deposit at time of signing.
Keep in mind: your Efficiency Vermont rebate is related to the work scope. If you decide to narrow your work scope, your rebate may go down also. Your contractor will be able to help you weigh your options.
Your proposal will NOT include estimated energy savings. Our contractors won’t give you a hard savings estimate until they have performed the “test-in” procedures required by Efficiency Vermont (including a blower door test) – which is the first thing they will do after you have committed to moving forward. In the meantime, your contractor will be happy to talk with you about typical energy savings for similar projects and give you a likely range of energy savings. On average, Upper Valley residents see 26% energy savings as a result of weatherization projects that cost, on average, $7,800. More about typical costs/savings on our Resources Page.
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.
How do the Weatherize prizes work?
Fourteen towns are participating in Weatherize Upper Valley this year. They make up four “teams”.
Everyone who signs a contract with a Weatherize Partner Contractor by May 31, 2017 is eligible for up to three chances to win cash toward the cost of your weatherization project.
- GRAND PRIZE – $2,500 – Just one winner from among all fourteen towns.
- TEAM PRIZE – $1,000 – One winner from EACH team
- EARLY BIRD PRIZE – $500 – One winner from among EACH team’s first ten participants who sign a contract with a partner contractor.
All winners will be selected AFTER the May 31 program deadline. The grand prize winner will be selected first, followed by the team prize winners, followed by the early bird prize winners.
Winners will be notified in June and prizes will be delivered upon project completion, at the same time as your Efficiency Vermont rebate. Don’t worry, we’ll work with your contractor and lender to make sure your prize money gets to the right people at the right time without a hassle.
Is there a catch? Only one. These prizes must go toward the cost of your project. If you win the $2,500 prize but you only need $2,300 after rebates to complete your project, we’ll only give you $2,300.
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.
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.
What about Weatherize in New Hampshire?
This first round of Weatherize is a pilot. If we are successful, we plan to expand Weatherize into New Hampshire in 2018. Contact Sarah Brock (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.
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