What does it mean to “Weatherize” my home?
Lower Energy Bills | Increased Comfort | Healthier Home
Work Scope – Most weatherization projects focus on air sealing and insulation, the two most cost effective ways to increase comfort and reduce energy costs. Start with your attic and/or basement where most heat loss and air leakage occurs. Those spaces also tend to be unfinished, allowing for easier and more affordable improvements.
The suggested work scope you receive from your contractor will contain many improvement opportunities. If you can’t afford to tackle everything at once, your contractor can help you prioritize and choose a final work scope that meets your needs.
Your weatherization project will include:
- Energy efficiency improvements as agreed upon between you and your contractor
- Any necessary health and safety improvements
- All required tests/diagnostics to qualify you for any available rebates
Benefits of a Whole Home Approach – All weatherization projects should be completed by a Building Performance Institute certified contractor. All Weatherize contractors are BPI certified and approved by Efficiency Vermont and/or NHsaves to provide weatherization services through state-approved rebate programs.
BPI contractors are trained to take a whole-home approach to improving your home’s efficiency, comfort, health, and safety. For example, your BPI contractor can:
- Test your combustion appliances to ensure toxic gases are vented properly
- Ensure you have plenty of ventilation and fresh air even after your air sealing improvements are completed
- Reduce moisture, mold, and drafts that contribute to poor air quality
- Help eliminate ice dams and other issues related to heat loss
- Help your home stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer
- Reduce your energy costs (average savings of 20-25%)
Cost, Rebates, and Financing – Every home is different. Project cost may vary from less than $5,000 to more than $12,000 depending on your home and your budget. Rebates are available in New Hampshire and Vermont to help you pay for your weatherization project.
- Vermont Rebates – Efficiency Vermont offers up to $2,000 for weatherization improvements, plus $500 if you also upgrade your heating system. Your contractor will take care of the paperwork for you.
- New Hampshire Rebates – NHSaves (a joint program of New Hampshire’s electric utilities) will cover 50% of your weatherization project cost, up to $4,000. This program is only available for homes using above a certain amount of energy per square foot. Your contractor will take care of the paperwork for you if you qualify for the NHsaves program.
Low cost financing is also available. Many lenders offer secured and unsecured loans designed specifically for borrowers investing in home energy improvements.
Success Stories – Click here to view summaries of actual weatherization projects from across our region. Vital Communities or your Weatherize volunteer team can also connect you directly with people in your town who have already weatherized their homes.
Programs for Low Income Residents
FREE Energy Assessments and Weatherization
The Weatherization Assistance Programs in Vermont and New Hampshire offer FREE energy assessments and weatherization for income-eligible residents. Both programs tend to have a wait list, but free weatherization is worth the wait!
Click the links below to check your eligibility:
Call your local Community Action Program to learn more and get started
- Sullivan County, NH – Southwestern Community Services (602.542.9528)
- Grafton County, NH – Tri-County Cap (603.968.3560)
- Orange County, VT – Capstone Community Action (800.639.1053)
- Windsor County, VT – Southeast Vermont Community Action (800.464.9951)
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.
Vermont’s Heat Saver Loan offers low interest financing to low and moderate income Vermonters for energy efficient home improvements. Learn more on our Financing Resources page.
Programs for Renters, Landlords, Small Businesses, and Nonprofits
Renters and Landlords
There are many low-cost improvements a renter can install to increase the efficiency of their home. Here is a guide for renters seeking to save energy and stay warm this winter, compiled by Efficiency Vermont.
For larger investments, renters will need to talk to their landlord. You will need to connect your landlord with NHSaves before any efficiency improvements are installed. They’ll be able to point your landlord to rebates and other attractive products that make it financially viable to increase the efficiency of your home.
Small Businesses and Nonprofits
Visit Vital Communities’ Small Businesses Resource Page for a breakdown of available programs and next steps.
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.
Live in New Hampshire? The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission offers a rebate of 40% (up to $10,000) 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.
Live in Vermont? 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.
Live in Vermont? Efficiency Vermont provides a $600 incentive for purchasing select ENERGY STAR heat pump water heaters.
Live in New Hampshire? NHSaves also offers rebates up to $600 for heat pump hot water heaters. Learn More
Building a New Home?
Live in Vermont? 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. You can expect a home that is 15-30 percent more efficient than a standard, code-built home, with superior quality, comfort, and value. Additional benefits include technical services and project support throughout the program, special rebates for the installation of Energy Star product, an Energy Star rating, and a HERS score. Take advantage of these great rebates and support. Learn More
A roof or ground-mounted home solar array can offset most or all of your 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
Finding Qualified Contractors
There are many BPI-certified contractors in Vermont and New Hampshire, including all Weatherize Upper Valley contractors.
- Building Performance Institute – searchable list of all BPI certified contractors nationwide
- Vermont Efficiency Excellence Network – searchable list of contractors qualified to help customers secure Efficiency Vermont rebates.
- New Hampshire NHSaves Contractors – list of contractors qualified to help customers secure NHSaves rebates.