Energy Savvy Homebuyers’ Guide
Energy will likely be your second highest cost of home ownership, after your mortgage, taxes, and insurance.
For most homes, cost-effective air sealing and insulation upgrades can lower heating bills and improve home comfort year round.
Plan Ahead and Save
Energy efficiency improvements within your first year of home ownership will save you money, protect your home, and make your family more comfortable for years to come.
Before You Buy
Before making an offer, look for energy efficiency clues while touring homes and reviewing property disclosures. Learn more >
When making an offer, request the heating fuel records you may need to qualify for energy efficiency rebates later on. Learn more >
Ask your home inspector to point out energy saving opportunities to help you plan ahead for an energy audit post-sale. Learn more >
Ask your lender about ways to pay for energy efficiency upgrades within your first year of home ownership. Learn more >
After the Closing
Work with your contractor to choose a scope of work that fits your budget and priorities. Learn more >
Schedule and complete your energy efficiency upgrades and let the savings begin! Learn more >
Not sure where to start? Need advice? Unsure about next steps?
Vital Communities is an independent, nonprofit community resource. Sarah and Paige from our Energy Team are experts in all things Green Real Estate and ready to help. Any and all questions welcome!
Any real estate agent can help you use the Green Homebuyer Guide
Share this resource with your real estate agent and ask them to contact Vital Communities (email@example.com) so we can help them help you.
Some real estate agents have completed the Green Real Estate Crash Course with Vital Communities and have been specially trained to assist you.
Real estate agents in the Upper Valley who have completed Vital Communities’ Green Real Estate Crash Course
Hanover / Lebanon (and surrounding communities)
Gabbie Black, Coldwell Banker Lifestyles
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-6406 (office), 603-448-8795 (cell)
Olivia Chapman, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
email@example.com, 603-643-6070 (office), 802-291-2486 (cell)
Colby Clarkson, Roger Clarkson Realtors, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-6004 (office), 603-643-0093 (cell)
Susan Cole, Susan Cole Realty Group, Lebanon, NH
email@example.com, 603-448-4500 (office), 603-381-5522 (cell)
Denise Dame, LindeMac Real Estate, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-4900 (office), 603-389-2070 (cell)
Martha Diebold, Martha E. Diebold Real Estate, Hanover, NH
email@example.com, 603-795-4816 (office)
*Dick Dumez, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-276-1307 (office), 603-359-6100 (cell)
Amy Gamache, Keller Williams, Lebanon, NH
email@example.com, 603-232-8282 (office), 603-252-9887 (mobile)
William “Star” Johnson, Big Green Real Estate, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-3942 (office)
Eric Johnston, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
email@example.com, 603-276-1346 (office), 802-779-1903 (cell)
*Lynne Labombard, LaBombard Peterson Realty Group, Lebanon, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-448-0600 (office), 603-359-1417 (cell)
Jenna Luce, RE/MAX Upper Valley Partners, West Lebanon, NH
email@example.com, 603-298-8900 (office), 603-398-7013 (other)
Linda Mayo, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-6070 (office), 802-345-5202 (cell)
Buff McLaughry, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
email@example.com, 603-276-1317 (office)
Linde McNamara, Linde Mac Real Estate, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-4900 (office), 603-277-0067 (cell)
*Kathy Peterson, LaBombard Peterson Realty Group, Lebanon, NH
email@example.com, 603-448-0600 (office), 603-381-6719 (cell)
Berna Rexford, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-676-7328 (office), 802-291-0479 (cell)
Melissa Robinson, Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty, Hanover, NH
email@example.com, 603-296-1327 (office), 603-667-7761 (cell)
Rose Smith, Susan Cole Realty Group, Lebanon, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-448-4500 (office), 603-276-0900 (cell)
Delia Wallace, Coldwell Banker Lifestyles, Hanover, NH
email@example.com, 603-643-6406 (office), 603-443-2144 (cell)
Enfield / Canaan (and surrounding communities)
Leafie “Casey” Cantlin, Vanessa Stone Real Estate, LLC, Enfield, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-632-5757 x111 (office)
*Mary Chamberlin, Vanessa Stone Real Estate, LLC, Enfield, NH
email@example.com, 603-632-5757 (office), 603-381-4526 (cell)
Yarrow Farnsworth, Vanessa Stone Real Estate, LLC, Enfield, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-632-5757 (office), 603-252-1837 (cell)
Gordon Gooch, Vanessa Stone Real Estate, LLC, Enfield, NH
email@example.com, 603-632-5757 (office)
Fred Lane, Vanessa Stone Real Estate, LLC, Enfield, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-632-5757 x103 (office)
Kerrie Roy, Moose Mountain Realty, Enfield, NH
email@example.com, 603-632-9000 (office)
Vanessa Stone, Vanessa Stone Real Estate, LLC, Enfield, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-632-5757 (office)
Dave Walthour, Dave Walthour Real Estate, Enfield, NH
email@example.com, 603-632-1234 (office)
Bill Warren, Staggs-Warren, Enfield, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-632-5525 (office)
Don Wyman, Granite Northland, Enfield, NH
email@example.com, 603-632-5567 (office)
Doreen Wyman, Granite Northland, Canaan, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-523-7200 (office)
Grantham (and surrounding communities)
Shenia Covey, CG Shepherd Realty, Grantham, NH
email@example.com, 603-863-3278 x221 (office), 802-296-1958 (cell)
*DeeAnn Shepherd, Coldwell Banker Lifestyles, Grantham, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603.863.4444 (office), 603-503-2026 (cell)
Carol Shepherd, CG Shepherd Realty, Grantham, NH
email@example.com, 603-863-3278 x101 (office), 603-568-0880 (cell)
Lake Sunapee / Kearsarge (and surrounding communities)
Ty Morris, Coldwell Banker Lifestyles, Sunapee, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-526-4020 (office), 603-237-2060 (cell)
Woodstock / Hartland (and surrounding communities)
Bobbi Dagger, The Atlantic Real Estate Network, Woodstock, VT
email@example.com, 802-356-0600 (office), 802-291-3543 (cell)
Mary Mayhew, Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group, Woodstock, VT
firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-457-2600 (office), 802-356-3776 (cell)
Hartford / Norwich (and surrounding communities)
Risa Mornis, Brick and Barn Real Estate Group, Quechee, VT
email@example.com, 802-295-7525 (office), 802-359-3680 (cell)
Jim Shibles, Brick and Barn Real Estate Group, Quechee, VT
firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-295-7525 (office), 802-252-7180 (cell)
Lyme / Orford (and surrounding communities)
Jane Eakin, Martha E. Diebold Real Estate, Lyme, NH
email@example.com, 603-795-4816 (office), 802-522-3045 (cell)
JoAnn Riemer, Martha E. Diebold Real Estate, Lyme, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-795-4816 (office)
Paula Small, Coldwell Banker Lifestyles, Lyme, NH
email@example.com, 603-643-6406 (office), 603-491-1889 (cell)
Tami Sullivan, Snyder Donegan Real Estate Group, Orford, NH
firstname.lastname@example.org, 603-643-0599 (office), 603-254-6570 (cell)
Thetford / Strafford (and surrounding communities)
Sue Ricker, Ann Swanson Real Estate, Thetford, VT
email@example.com, 802-785-4475 (office), 802-291-1153 (cell)
*Also completed the National Association of Realtors’ Green Designation Course
Some Realtors® are National Association of Realtors (NAR) Green Designees and have completed a two-day, national training program on energy efficiency and sustainable homes. Like the real estate agents listed above, they are specially suited to help you buy or sell properties with green features, or simply to help clients interested in a more sustainable home buying process.
Energy Savvy Home Inspectors in the Upper Valley
The following Upper Valley Home Inspectors are active members of the Upper Valley Green Real Estate Network and meet regularly to discuss energy efficiency.
Check First Home Inspection, Michael Riese, Canaan, NH
S & K Home Inspectors, Scott Wade, Charlestown, NH
Twin State Inspections, Dale Shriver, Etna, NH
River Valley Home Inspection, Dave DeSimone, Orford, NH
Special loans designed for home energy improvements
Many Upper Valley lenders offer loans specially designed for home energy improvements. These loans are most commonly taken out AFTER you already own your home.
Click here to view the current list of lenders participating in the Upper Valley Green Real Estate Network, with a brief summary of available energy loan products as of summer 2018.
Hire a Certified Home Performance Professional
Whether getting an energy audit or completing home energy upgrades, be sure to hire a contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). In order to qualify for rebates, your BPI contractor must ALSO be approved by Efficiency Vermont and/or NHsaves.
Vermont – Use the contractor directory at EfficiencyVermont.com to find BPI-certified contractors near you.
New Hampshire – Use the NHsaves Home Energy Calculator to determine if your home is eligible for NHsaves rebates (based on energy used per square foot).
- If you ARE eligible for NHsaves rebates, complete an NHsaves application and a certified contractor will be assigned to you.
- If you are NOT eligible for NHsaves rebates, search the national directory of BPI-certified contractors for professionals near you. Or contact Vital Communities for local recommendations (firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-291-9100 x109)
Contact Vital Communities to request a print copy of the Energy Savvy Homebuyer Guide
Energy@VitalCommunities.org or 802.291.9100 x109
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Climate Projects Coordinator
— Ana Mejia, Climate Projects Coordinator
Ana Mejia is the Climate Projects Coordinator at Vital Communities. She is a Southern California native and first arrived to the Upper Valley in 2018. Ana received her Bachelor’s degree in Geology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and her Master’s in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where she wrote her thesis on solar home affordability and energy efficiency programs for low income families. When she is not actively working towards creating sustainable communities, Ana enjoys swimming, cross-country skiing, birding, and trying out new dessert recipes with her KitchenAid mixer.
Energy Program Manager
— Sarah Brock, Energy Program Manager
Sarah Brock joined Vital Communities in 2013 as our Energy Program Manager. Through her work Sarah provides support for our region’s 40+ local energy committees, engaging with dozens of volunteers and clean energy businesses in programs like Solarize Upper Valley, Weatherize Upper Valley, and the Upper Valley Green Real Estate Network. Prior to joining the Vital Communities team, Sarah was an Environmental Philanthropy Associate with the High Meadows Fund, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation. Sarah now lives in Warner, New Hampshire, with her husband Zach and her chickens. When she's not busy advocating for energy efficiency, Sarah enjoys playing the trombone and taking walks in her backwoods to look for signs of New Hampshire's abundant wildlife.