Vermont Energy Savings

Tired of knowing your hard earned money is going out the window? There are many programs in Vermont that can help you pay your energy bills or pay for energy upgrades to save on energy costs long term. Check out the list of programs below, for a quick introduction to the programs take a look at our Energy Savings Guides for Windsor County and Orange County,  take a look at our FAQ section, and get tips on how to apply for programs using our cheat sheets.

Have questions or need help applying for programs? In partnership with the Town Energy Committees and Sustainable Woodstock, we currently have volunteers in the towns of Thetford, Norwich, Hartford, Sharon, Woodstock, Hartland, Bridgewater ready to connect neighbors with programs to save money! Contact Ana at 802-291-9100 x114 to be connected with a volunteer.

You can also dial 2-1-1 and get connected with a live person 24/7 who can give you information about energy savings programs for Vermont residents.

Not a Vermont Resident? Learn about Energy Programs for New Hampshire Residents

Long-term Energy Solutions

Feel more comfortable, reduce home energy use, and save money long term!

Save fuel and money by improving the energy efficiency of your home. You may qualify for FREE weatherization or rebates based on your household income.

**Review program income eligibility guidelines (see FAQ) to determine if you qualify.**

Weatherization Assistance Program

Income-eligible households can receive energy efficiency upgrades like insulation, air sealing, heating system improvements, repairs or replacement, and other energy saving measures all at no cost! You may be placed on a waitlist, but free weatherization is worth the wait! Apply through your local Community Action Agency.

Hartford, Woodstock, Hartland, Bridgewater, Norwich residents: Contact Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) by calling 800-464-9951 ext. 132 or 137 to speak to a client intake specialist.

 

Thetford, Bethel, Sharon residents: Contact Capstone Community Action by calling (802) 479-1053.

COVER Weatherization

COVER Home Repair, a local nonprofit, is providing free or low cost Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Weatherization kits this season as all home weatherization projects are currently suspended. Applications for weatherization projects like insulated skirting or roofing insulation are still being accepted for when work resumes. To request your custom DIY kit call Rachel at 802-296-7241 ext 4.

Home Performance with Energy Star

Work with an approved contractor to weatherize your home, and Efficiency Vermont will pay 50% of your project cost, up to $4,000 for income-eligible residents. To get this rebate, find an Efficiency Excellence Network contractor using this online listing or call Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 to get a recommendation. Projects must be completed before Dec. 31, 2020 to get this rebate.

Button Up Vermont Home Energy Visits

If you are not sure where to begin your home weatherization a free virtual home energy visit through Button Up Vermont is a great way to start. You can schedule an appointment for a virtual walkthrough of your home over your smartphone or tablet with an expert from Efficiency Vermont who can pinpoint areas in your home where work can start. Appointments begin in January 2021 and you can schedule online or call Button Up Vermont at 888-921-5990.

Low-Cost Energy Audits 

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont provides low-cost ($150) energy audits that identify where your home is losing heat and provide an estimate of energy savings, project costs, incentives, and prioritized recommendations for home improvements. You can schedule an energy audit by completing the online registration form or by calling 802-438-2303.

Zero Energy Modular Home Program

Ready to replace your inefficient home with a new, super energy efficient modular home? Enjoy low interest financing, lower monthly costs, better health & comfort, and low (or non-existent!) energy bills. To learn more call Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990.

Immediate Energy Solutions

Get help paying your energy bills!

The programs below provide direct assistance to pay your energy bills by making payments to your fuel dealer, electric company, paying for fuel tank repairs/replacement, or giving you a discount on your monthly electric bill.

**Review program income eligibility guidelines (see FAQ) to determine if you qualify.**

Seasonal Fuel Assistance

Seasonal Fuel Assistance helps income-eligible residents pay a portion of their home heating bills. Benefits are paid between November and April. Apply online or call the VT Economic Services Division Benefits Center at 800-479-6151 to get a paper application mailed to you. To access the online application, you must register and create an account.

Crisis Fuel Assistance

Crisis Fuel Assistance helps income-eligible residents pay for emergency fuel, prevent electricity disconnections, and pay for furnace repairs/replacements. Crisis Fuel Assistance runs from the last Monday in November to the last Friday in April. To apply, call your local Community Action Agency (see FAQ section to find yours) to schedule an over-the-phone appointment.

Fuel Tank Replacement

Assistance for up to $2,000 is available to income-eligible households for the replacement of unsafe fuel tanks through the VT Department of Environmental Conservation. To learn more about the program visit their website or call Kristen Schultz at 802-828-1138.

Green Mountain Power Energy Assistance

Income-eligible Green Mountain Power customers can get a 25% discount off their monthly electric bill and new applicants may qualify for arrears assistance if they owe on past due bills. Apply through the Vermont Economic Services Division. Complete and mail in the application form or call 800-775-0516 to request an application be mailed to you. 

Listen Heating Helpers

Listen Community Services can help prevent electric service disconnections and pay for fuel deliveries for Upper Valley residents in their service area. Assistance is available year-round with no income restrictions. To make an appointment, call 603-448-4553.

COVID-19 Arrearages Assistance

If you have experienced economic hardship like job loss, or fewer hours because of COVID-19, you may be able to have your past due utility bills covered. Apply online through the Vermont COVID-19 Arrearages Assistance Program portal or call your local Community Action Agency (see FAQ section to find yours). 

Income Eligibility Guidelines

Take a look at our charts below to see what programs you may qualify for based on your monthly household gross income (before taxes). To qualify for program assistance, your monthly household gross income must be equal to or below the amounts listed for the number of people who live in your home (household size). This information is accurate as of June 30th, 2020.

**Please note the guidelines change year to year, we recommend you call the program offices to get the most up to date information on eligibility requirements.**

Windsor County 

Orange County 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What programs do I qualify for?

Take a look at our charts below to see what programs you may qualify for based on your monthly household gross income (before taxes). To qualify for program assistance, your monthly household gross income must be equal to or below the amounts listed for the number of people who live in your home (household size). This information is accurate as of June 30th, 2020.

**Please note the guidelines change year to year, we recommend you call the program offices to get the most up to date information on eligibility requirements.**

Windsor County 

Orange County 

What are Community Action Agencies?

Community Action Agencies are nonprofit organizations that were created by the federal government in 1964 to combat poverty in geographically designated areas. In order to reduce poverty in its community, a Community Action Agency works to better focus available local, state, federal, and private resources to assist low-income individuals and families to acquire useful skills and knowledge, to gain access to new opportunities, and to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Community Action Agencies help Vermonters meet basic needs and become self-sufficient.

Services provided by Community Action Agencies may include fuel and utility assistance, emergency food help, Head Start, housing assistance, income tax assistance, information and referrals, and training.

Which Community Action Agency serves my town?

There are two Community Action Agencies that service the Upper Valley:

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA)
Serves residents of Windham and Windsor Counties (except Barnard, Bethel, Royalton & Sharon)

Springfield Office
107 Park St #2, Springfield, VT 05156
(802) 885-6153
                                                                                                                                                             .
White River Junction Office
226 Holiday Drive, Suite 24, White River Junction, VT 05001
(802) 295-5215.

Capstone Community Action
Serves residents of Orange County plus Barnard, Bethel, Royalton & Sharon

Bradford Office
22 Whistle Stop Way, Bradford, VT 05033
(802) 222-5419

Randolph Office
12 Prince Street, Randolph, VT 05060
(802) 728-9506

Do you have a list of local general contractors?

While Vital Communities does not maintain a list of local general contractors or do any sort of vetting, there are a few places you can start like Efficiency Vermont’s Energy Efficiency Network and Vermont Center for Independent Living’s contractor list.

We highly recommend that you do some vetting of your own and compare contractors by requesting estimates and project timeframes.

What can I do as a renter?

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 Efficiency Vermont 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.

Ready to Apply?

We know applying for programs can sometimes be stressful and hard to navigate, so we created helpful cheat sheets to make the process easier. Download the cheat sheets below for the programs mentioned on this site to get tips on how to apply and what to expect when you start the application process.

Financing Your Home Energy Project

 

General Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • Start with state-supported programs – Efficiency Vermont has energy loan programs with participating lenders that offer discounted rates and incentives. 
  • Many lending institutions offer loans specifically designed for energy-related projects, like home energy upgrades or solar installations. Just ask about “energy” or “green” loans. These tend to be traditional lending options with certain perks (e.g. better rate, longer term).
  • Customers must meet credit and income requirements to be eligible for any loan. In some cases, the interest rate and term depend on customer credit, amount borrowed, and other factors.
  • Be sure to speak with a knowledgeable loan adviser about your specific situation to determine what financing options make the most sense for you. 
  • Because the appropriate loan type often depends on the amount being borrowed, it is helpful to have a cost estimate from a contractor prior to seeking approval for financing. Your energy audit will include cost estimates, and your contractor can help you narrow your project scope if you need to stick to a budget.
  • In sharing general information about specific lending institutions, Vital Communities is in no way endorsing or recommending particular financing partners or products. As with any contract you may enter into, we urge you to read and understand the “fine print” and seek expert advice as necessary.
  • Talk with your contractor about financing options. They have helped other customers through the process and can likely answer some of your questions as well.

Information Up to Date as of 11/5/2020

Home Energy Loanefficiencyvermontlogosmall

Vermont Home Energy Loan – Available to ALL Vermonters. Low-interest loans of up to $40,000 with 100% financing available. Can be processed in as little as two business days. Interest rates between 0% and 6.99% (depending on income and loan term). Loan terms up to 15 years. Available through Efficiency Vermont and serviced through VSECU and Opportunities Credit Union. See below for additional loan services provided by VSECU in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Funds may be used to finance energy efficiency improvements and necessary health and safety improvements. Qualifying improvements include heat pumps, efficient heating systems and hot water heaters, air sealing, insulation, renewables, and more.

To learn more or apply, visit
Efficiencyvermont.com/services/financing/homes/home-energy-loan

USDA Rural Development 504 Single Family Home Repair Grant and Loan Program

504 Grant and Loan Program – income-eligible Vermonters can receive a 1% interest loan for up to $20,000 or a grant for up to $7,500 for a home repair project. Some residents may be able to receive both a loan and a grant! 

To learn more or apply, visit RD.USDA.gov or call your local Community Action Agency (see FAQ section to find yours).

Energy Efficient Home Loan

Competative fixed rate Home Equity Loan with special rates for qualifying energy-efficiency home improvements. 

To learn more or apply, visit BHBT.com or call 888-853-7100.

Bar Harbor is a community bank serving Vermont and New Hampshire.

Energy Efficiency Home Improvement Loan  

Fixed rate (8%), up to $15,000 unsecured, 5 year term.

To learn more or apply, visit ClaremontSavings.com or call 800-992-0316.

Claremont Savings Bank is a community bank serving Vermont and New Hampshire.

Mascoma Bank Serving the Financial Needs of Northern New England

Energy Efficiency Loan

Unsecured loan, up to $15,000 at 7.99% fixed rate, 7 year term. 

To learn more or apply, contact: Lindsay White
802-280-4957 or Lindsay.White@mascomabank.com
NMLS #486333

Mascoma Bank is a mutually owned bank with no stockholders, focusing on what is best for our customers and community.

Home Equity Energy Improvement Loan & Energy Improvement Loan

7-year, fixed-rate loans starting at 6.5% rate. 

To learn more or apply, visit their website or call 800-672-2274.

Northfield Savings Bank is a mutually owned Vermont bank donating 10% of profits to community organizations.

Energy Loan

Fixed rate loan starting at 8.49%. A payment calculator feature available on their website. 

Must live or work in New Hampshire, have a family member who is a Service Credit Union member, or be a past or present armed forces service member.

To learn more or apply, visit their website or call 800-936-7730.

Vermont State Employees Credit Union

If you live or work in Vermont, or if you are a member of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), you are eligible to become a VSECU member.

HeatSaver Loan – See above

VGreen Program – Many available options for energy-related purchases/projects, some of which are listed below.

To learn more or apply, visit VSECU.com/vgreenloans or call 802-371-5146.

Heat-Squad-Logo-April2017

A program of Neighborworks of Western Vermont

(Vermont Only)

Heat Squad Energy Loan – Rates as low as 5.70%, 10 year terms. Loan amount based on the home energy audit report. Qualifying improvements include weatherization, efficient heating systems, renewables, roofing and siding, exterior doors, foundation improvements, health and safety measures, and other items that improve energy efficiency.

To learn more and apply, visit HeatSquad.org/Energy-Loan or call 802-438-2303.