Since 2017, Vital Communities has helped town Energy Committees across our region run “Weatherize” programs. Using a toolkit of action steps and materials, Weatherize volunteer teams have connected more than 280 homeowners with specialized home energy contractors and rebates to make their homes more comfortable and energy-efficient. So far, 33 Upper Valley communities have run Weatherize programs with support from Vital Communities, and some are on their second round.
What has been the impact? In early 2021, we checked in with people who had weatherized their homes as part of Weatherize Kearsarge. They shared their stories to encourage others to also take the Weatherize plunge. (The use of their names is according to each person’s preference.)
Greater Comfort, Lower Bills, Less Dampness, Fewer Mice
Depending on the home, weatherization improvements included insulating attics, floors, walls, basements, and heating ducts; weatherstripping windows and doors and plugging small air leaks; installing vapor barriers and other moisture-control measures; replacing inefficient windows, boilers, and water heaters; and putting in efficient LED lighting. Costs ranged from $3,300 to $9,700, of which rebates paid 40 to 75 percent.
“The winter following the job, my heating bills dropped 29 percent, which means an equally lighter carbon footprint,” said John Raby of New London, NH. “And putting in LED lights as my contractor recommended significantly lowered my electricity bills and carbon footprint from lighting.”
“Our house used to be extremely cold at floor level and very hot towards the ceilings and that has been eliminated,” said a resident of Easton, NH. “We use dramatically less fuel.”
“More comfortable, less energy used,” said Jessica of Concord. “I think we have reduced our annual gas consumption by 33%, or about 600 therms.”
“We’re more comfortable,” said another New London resident. “Also preparing our basement and attic for the work made us scale back unnecessary items.”
“Roughly 30% reduction in oil usage; warmer basement; many fewer mice entering house!” reported William of Andover, NH, who got a $4,000 rebate toward the $9,700 cost.
“Our home feels much warmer and it is quieter as well,” said a resident of Warner. “We don’t feel the drafts and our fuel bill is considerably less even though we have been home more with a toddler, using much more heat and setting the thermostat to a higher temperature.”
“Insulating our basement made it comfortable both in the winter and summertime. Our first floor is more comfortable as well,” said Peter of New London. “Weatherization is a win on multiple fronts from the environment, cost savings, and improved comfort of your home.”