Utilities boost incentives to reduce home heating, energy costs

75% of home weatherization costs covered, boosting resilience during COVID-caused recession

Vermont Business Magazine As Vermonters cope with an economic recession, Efficiency Vermont, VGS and Burlington Electric Department (BED) are announcing a raft of higher-than-ever incentives to help Vermonters reduce their home energy costs, make their homes healthier and more resilient into the future, and encourage investments that support the local economy.

The new offers are part of the three energy efficiency utilities’ (EEU) response to the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19. The EEUs made changes to prioritize offers that increase customers’ access to capital, help them avoid out-of-pocket expenses, and deliver substantial energy savings that put money back in their pockets. Program changes target the hardest hit customer segments, including low- and moderate-income Vermonters.

“Energy efficiency is a powerful way for customers to invest in themselves and the local economy. Efficiency projects make homes healthier and lower monthly energy costs for years to come,” said Efficiency Vermont Director Rebecca Foster. “Spending money on anything right now feels scary, but with the highest incentive we’ve ever offered for weatherization, and with the first six payments covered on a no-interest loan, now is the best time for Vermonters to make this investment and help local contractors get back to work.”

“The world we live in today is much different than it was just a few short months ago – and our commitment to keep energy services affordable and clean is now more important than ever,” said Neale Lunderville, VGS Chief Operating Officer. “VGS has a long-standing commitment to our customers and our communities, and we believe these additional incentives will help even more Vermonters save money, reduce their energy needs, and make their homes comfortable all year long.”

“Burlington Electric is committed to supporting economic recovery in our community through our Green Stimulus package, which includes enhanced weatherization incentives for homes and multi-family buildings, in partnership with VGS and Champlain Valley Weatherization Services,” said Darren Springer, General Manager of Burlington Electric Department.

“We encourage Burlingtonians to visit burlingtonelectric.com/greenstimulus to learn more about the broad range of new incentives available, including financing as low as zero percent for energy efficiency projects for residential customers, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. We are pleased to be joining with our partners Efficiency Vermont and VGS to invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting the Vermont economy during these challenging times.”

Weatherization incentives cover 75% of project cost

Starting July 1 and available only until Aug. 31 or until funds run out, Vermonters who qualify as moderate income (below 120% of median household income) can work with an Efficiency Excellence Network contractor to weatherize their home, including sealing air leaks and insulating their basements and attics. The new incentive will cover 75% of the project cost, up to $5,500.

Through the recently enhanced Home Energy Loan program, Efficiency Vermont will also make the first six months of payments for customers (or up to $900). That means most Vermonters can now complete a comprehensive weatherization project for around $40 a month, with the first six months of payments waived.

While energy savings resulting from home weatherization projects can vary greatly from one home to another, most customers can expect to save hundreds of dollars a year on heating and cooling costs. In addition, weatherization projects performed by qualified contractors can improve the indoor air quality of a home, making living spaces healthier and more comfortable.

Higher-income customers will receive incentives of 50% off their project cost, up to $2,000, and below market-rate financing.

Equipment rebates for healthier homes

Low- and moderate-income Vermonters can also receive $50 back on qualifying efficient products that support healthier, more resilient homes. The rebate is available for purchases made before Aug. 31. Qualifying appliances include ENERGY STAR® certified:

  • Window air conditioning units

  • Dehumidifiers

  • Air purifiers

  • Freezers

  • Indoor grow lights (DLC-certified)

The 0% interest Home Energy Loan can also be applied to these purchases.

These offers are available only until Aug. 31 or until funding expires.

About Efficiency Vermont

Efficiency Vermont is helping our state transition to a more affordable and cleaner future. Since 2000, Efficiency Vermont has brought Vermonters together to reduce the cost of energy, saving more than $2.6 billion in energy costs and keeping more than 12 million tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere. We work with our partners to provide incentives, technical advice, and efficient products to help customers save money, and lower carbon emissions. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.

Source: Efficiency Vermont Winooski, Vermont – 6.15.2020