Weatherize Upper Valley

Working together to help you save money and stay warm

The Sign-Up Period for Weatherize 2019 is Over!

Weatherize Canaan-Enfield

Nearly 100 Canaan and Enfield residents signed up for the program, with 58 households requesting audits. 

Weatherize Kearsarge

Almost 200 Andover, New London, Newbury, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot households signed up for Weatherize, with 128 requesting home energy audits.

It’s still a great time to weatherize

If you missed out on Weatherize this year, don’t worry. You can still save money and stay warm by air sealing an insulating your home. Visit our Weatherize Resources page to learn how.

Real-Time Weatherize Progress

 

Solarize Kearsarge

Kearsarge Climate Action and Vital Communities are ALSO hosting a Solarize Kearsarge campaign in 2019, officially kicking off April 13. Early birds are welcome to request a free solar site visit with our partner installer Granite State Solar anytime! 

 

What is Weatherize?

Cost Savings and Comfort – Weatherize projects focus on air-sealing and insulation, two cost effective ways to improve comfort, reduce energy costs, and address problems like ice dams, cold spots, and drafts. According to NHSaves, average weatherization projects in New Hampshire cost around $6,000, with average energy savings around 20%.

Qualified Contractors – Our Weatherize partner contractors, listed below, are experienced, vetted by NHSaves, and certified by the Building Performance Institute.

$100 Energy Audit – Typically, homeowners may pay $400 or more for a home energy audit before receiving a quote. 

NHSaves Rebates – About 2/3 of homes use enough energy per square foot to qualify for rebates up to $4,000 from NHSaves.  

Great Prizes – Sign an agreement with a partner contractor by May 31 and be entered to win $500 toward the cost of your home energy project.

Weatherization Resources

✔ Financing Options

✔ Do-It Yourself Tips

✔ Low-Income Programs

✔ Info for Renters and Businesses

✔ Other Home Energy Options

Upcoming Events

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Special Thanks
to our 2019 Weatherize Sponsors

Weatherize goes Prime-time

Yankee Cronicle (5min video) – Volunteer Jamie talks Weatherize on January 24.

NHPR’s The Exchange (1hr radio program) – Sarah Brock from Vital Communities and Ted Stiles from the Weatherize contractor team talk about home heating on January 24.

2019 Weatherize Contractors

Based in Meredith, NH | Founded in the 1980’s | BPI-Certified since 2012

Quality Insulation of Meredith is a local branch of the nationwide company TruTeam. This gives us the ability to have strong local relationships with a corporate backing. We specialize in insulation and weatherization work with BPI certified auditors and experienced installers. We can help you start to finish with your weatherization project.

Contact: Will Castner, team leader and auditor, 603.393.0117, william.castner@truteam.com

Teams Served

Canaan-Enfield

Kearsarge

Based in Rochester, NH | Founded in 2008 | BPI-Certified since 2012

Yankee Thermal Imaging is a full service energy auditing and insulation firm specializing in residential and commercial energy savings needs. Our goal is to educate home and business owners on the importance of energy efficiency and the benefits that come from having a properly air-sealed and insulated home. We service all of New Hampshire and southern Maine.

Contact: Ted Stiles, primary contact, 603.498.7973, ted.stiles@yti.biz

Teams Served

Canaan-Enfield

Kearsarge

ABC Energy with name

Based in Concord, NH | Founded in 2013 | BPI since 2011 (when owner Bob Eldredge was working for another local contractor)

ABC Energy Savings offers Independent Comprehensive Home Energy Audits and works with local companies like Chey Insulation (Canaan) to do the work.  By being independent, recommendations are not influenced by what’s in the warehouse or most profitable to do.  Bob Eldredge has been involved with the NH Home Performance with Energy Star program since 2011 and renewable solar technologies since 2010. 

Contact: Bob Eldredge, owner and auditor, 603.344.4540, bob@abcenergysavings.com

Teams Served

Canaan-Enfield

Kearsarge

Based in Lebanon, NH | Founded in 2011 | BPI-Certified since 2011

Build Basic Green is a full service energy assessment and construction company, with offices in New Hampshire and Vermont. The principal, Bruce Merritt, has 30 years of experience building, assessing, and installing energy efficient upgrades, with a specialty in Insulated Concrete forms.

Contact: Bruce Merritt, owner and auditor, 802.299.1946, buildbasicgreen@gmail.com

Teams Served

Just Enfield residents

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a contractor?

All Weatherize contractors are:

  1. Certified by the Building Performance Institute
  2. Approved and quality-checked by NHSaves
  3. Able to provide comprehensive home energy services

Your goal: choose a contractor you like and trust. They will all do good work for you. So who feels like a good fit?

Tips for choosing a contractor BEFORE you complete the Weatherize Questionnaire:

  • Explore the contractors’ descriptions and websites, listed below.
  • Call one or more contractors and get to know them a little before you make your choice. You might ask what they specialize in, what their approach is, what makes them unique?
  • What are the issues you most want to address in your home? Energy costs? Comfort? Ice Dams? Are there non-energy improvements you would like to take care of at the same time? Ask your contractor if they can help with more than just energy.
  • Some contractors have crews in house, some use subcontractors. Do you have a preference?

Also remember:

  • You should only need one contractor and one energy audit.
  • All Weatherize contractors offer the same pre-determined pricing.
  • The company that completes your audit will be the same company that oversees your home energy project.

$100 energy audit... what's the catch?

Anyone from one of our 2019 participating towns is eligible for a $100 energy audit as long as they complete the questionnaire by March 15.

If you qualify for NHSaves rebates, you pay your contractor $100, and your electric company pays the rest of the cost of the audit for you. If you choose to go ahead with any weatherization work, your $100 audit gets credited toward your project cost. You can thank NHSaves for this incredible deal.

If you do NOT qualify for NHSaves rebates, you pay your contractor $100 for the energy audit, plus a $200 nonrefundable deposit toward any weatherization work you decide to complete afterward. This policy helps contractors control their costs and helps prioritize Weatherize participants who are more serious about making home energy improvements as a result of their energy audits.

Feel free to talk with your contractor over the phone before scheduling your energy audit, to increase your confidence that there will be energy saving opportunities within your budget that you can put your $200 deposit toward.

If at any time before your energy audit you change your mind, you can cancel at no cost.

By completing an energy audit you are under no obligation to get any work done as a result.

What are the Weatherize deadlines?

You must submit your Home Energy Questionnaire by March 24 in order to request your $100 Weatherize Energy Audit. (This is an extended deadline to allow a little extra time for people who only found out about Weatherize at town meeting)

After your audit is complete and you have your audit report, you must commit to completing energy upgrades (by signing a contract or giving your verbal commitment) by May 31 in order to qualify for the $500 Weatherize prize drawing. 

Can businesses or nonprofits participate in Weatherize?

NHSaves has a program for “small commercial” energy users that can help businesses and nonprofits reduce their heating and electricity use.

Visit Vital Communities’ Small Businesses Resource Page for a breakdown of available programs and next steps.

Do renters qualify for energy efficiency incentives?

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.

What happens during the home energy audit?

Your home energy audit will take about half a day (3-4+ hours) and you should be present. The contractor will want to take a look around, especially in your basement, attic(s), knee-walls, and crawl spaces. Be sure any access points are clear of personal items.

The contractor will perform a blower door test, test the efficiency of your heating appliances, and may also use an infrared camera to identify air leaks and insulation gaps. Your contractor will not perform a blower door test if you’ve had a fire in your woodstove in the last 24 hours, if your home has a lot of mold, or if your home contains any vermiculite insulation. This is to avoid contaminating the air in your home with unwanted potentially dangerous particles.

After the audit, the contractor will give you an audit report describing your options for energy efficiency improvements, with a quote for completing the work.

How long will this process take, start to finish?

This process will likely occur over the course of a few months.

After you submit your Home Energy Questionnaire, your selected partner contractor will contact you within about three business days to schedule your home energy audit. Your contractor will try to fit you at the earliest convenient time for you both.

Once your audit is complete, your contractor will deliver an audit report with a scope of work and quote within about two weeks (this could take longer depending on how busy your contractor is– they will communicate with you if they expect a delay). You may want to narrow your scope of work or ask your contractor to do additional work– that’s fine. Just talk to your contractor about your needs, your budget, and your priorities to make sure you’re getting exactly what you expect.

Commit to completing energy upgrades on or before May 31 and be entered to win a Weatherize cash prize of $500. Work can be, and likely will be, completed after May 31 and before the end of 2019.

What should I expect when the contractor comes to do the work?

You and your contractor will choose a time-frame that works for you both. Depending on the project size, the work could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

You should talk with your contractor so you know exactly what to expect, but they may:

  • ask you to clear your belongings out of the work area (like attics and basements).
  • bring a work crew of a few people to complete the job (may be sub-contractors or in-house crews, feel free to ask).
  • be using noisy equipment, especially for installing sprayfoam or blown-in insulation.
  • cut and patch holes in your drywall that will need to be repainted.
  • require the work area to be ventilated, especially if working with sprayfoam, and may also ask you to stay away from the home for at least 24 hours while the sprayfoam cures.

Be sure to clarify what work will be done and how it will affect you and your household. Establish clear expectations BEFORE your project begins to avoid any surprises.

Do I have to do EVERYTHING my contractor recommends? It seems like a lot...

No. You can narrow (or add to) the scope of work your contractor gives you. They are capable of tailoring the work scope to meet your priorities and budget. You should not hesitate to contact your contractor if you are concerned about the cost, size, or scope of the improvements recommended for your home– they’ll work with you to make sure your project is in line with your expectations.

If you qualify for NHSaves rebates, your scope of work must be approved by your utility company. If you decide to reduce or expand the scope of your home’s project, you will need to get confirmation from your utility company that your home’s project still qualifies for rebates. This approval process will happen through your contractor, so make sure you are communicating with your contractor about how a change to your contractor’s suggested work scope could affect your home’s eligibility for NHSaves rebates.

Also remember that NHSaves rebate recipients are eligible for 0% and 2% loans to cover the remaining cost of their weatherization projects, allowing some to take on more weatherization work at one time.

What if something goes wrong?

All contractors have workmanship guarantees. You should thoroughly read your contractor agreement to ensure you understand what protections they offer BEFORE your project begins. The best thing you can do is to have clear expectations for your contractor BEFORE your work begins. Doing so will avoid miscommunication and save you time in the long-run.

If you qualify for NHSaves rebates and you are dissatisfied with your project, you can contact your utility representative to trigger a quality assurance review.

How does the Weatherize prize drawing work?

If you commit to completing home energy upgrades by May 31 you will be entered to win a Weatherize cash prize of $500. Each of the two New Hampshire teams (Canaan-Enfield and Kearsarge) will have one winner. So, there will be two New Hampshire winners in 2019!

How are the NHsaves rebates funded?

Four New Hampshire electric utilities offer NHsaves programs for residential and commercial customers – Eversource, Liberty Utilities, New Hampshire Electric Coop, and Unitil.

NHsaves programs are funded primarily by commercial and residential customers through a Systems Benefit Charge (SBC) that the NH Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) applies to all electric accounts for the four participating utilities. The NHPUC requires that funding be used for energy efficiency programs that cover all customers throughout the state in some way.  For the residential sector; programs include rebates for LED bulbs, ENERGY STAR appliances, new construction ENERGY STAR homes and weatherization for existing homes.

The NHPUC allocates funding back to each utility based on the number of customers served in the state by that utility.  Each utility then works with the NHPUC to set rebate budgets for each program for the calendar year. Unfortunately there is not enough funding to weatherize every home in NH, which is why weatherization rebates are reserved for homes that use the most heating energy per square foot through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program and income eligible homes through the Home Energy Assistance (HEA) program. The HEA program also receives a small amount of funding from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

If your utility’s HPwES program runs out of rebate money before the end of the year, they may start a wait list for next year’s funding, as is happening right now with Liberty Utilities. Liberty is a smaller utility and started the year with a relatively small budget and a wait list from 2018. The other utilities are, as of now, not in danger of running out of rebate funding before the end of the Weatherize Upper Valley campaign this spring.

How is Weatherize Upper Valley funded?

Vital Communities, as a nonprofit organization, provides staff support and materials for the Weatherize program. Our funding comes from individual donations from people like you. Funding for Weatherize also comes from:

  • Jane’s Trust Foundation
  • Harris and Francis Block Foundation
  • NHSaves
  • Energy Emporium

Weatherize 2017 & 2018 – Congratulations to our Teams!

2017 Teams
  • Ascutney Team – Cavendish, Reading, Weathersfield, and Windsor, VT
  • Connecticut River Team – Hartland, Hartford, Norwich, and Thetford, VT
  • White River Team – Bethel, Royalton, and Sharon, VT
  • Randolph Team – Randolph, Brookfield, and Braintree, VT
2018 Teams
  • Cornish and Plainfield, NH
  • Lebanon, NH
  • Orford, Piermont, and Lyme, NH
  • Springfield and Chester, VT
  • Sustainable Woodstock Team – Woodstock, Pomfret, Bridgewater, VT

2017 and 2018 Results

Our Weatherize Design Team

Our thanks to each of the individuals and groups listed here for their time and thoughtful input as we collaborated to design Weatherize Upper Valley.

Energy Committee Leaders
Home Performance Contractors

Weatherize Team at Vital Communities

Paige Heverly

Energy and Transportation Project Coordinator

Transportation, Energy

 802.291.9100 x 114

Transportation, Energy

— Paige Heverly, Energy and Transportation Project Coordinator

Paige Heverly joined Vital Communities in 2017 as the Energy and Transportation Project Coordinator. Hailing from the suburbs of Philadelphia, she moved to Vermont in 2011 and earned a joint BA in Renewable Energy and Ecological Design and Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. After completing her Master of Energy Regulation and Law from Vermont Law School, Paige worked in energy efficiency consulting in Portland, Oregon. Her love of local food systems, the White River, and the Green Mountains brought her back to the Upper Valley to work on regional issues with localized solutions. Paige is passionate about closing ecological loops and treating waste as food. In her free time, she enjoys baking homemade English muffins, weeding her garden, and writing letters to her pen pals.



Sarah Brock

Energy Program Manager

Energy

 802.291.9100 x 109

Energy

— 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.