This legislative session brought massive, historic investments totaling $80 million for low- and moderate-income Vermonters interested in weatherizing their homes. The last decade has seen dramatic improvements in how we insulate buildings—weatherization means adding insulation and air sealing crucial areas of a building to better maintain temperature, control moisture, keep pests and pollutants out, and save money on energy. Weatherization is one of the easiest ways to increase comfort, improve indoor air quality, and save energy at the residential level.
In addition to the significant funds going to support municipal-level weatherization that we shared last week, the Legislature dedicated $45 million for low-income weatherization through the Home Weatherization Assistance Program, run by the Vermont Office of Economic Opportunity. This program is administered through Vermont’s local Community Action Agencies (find yours here!) and provides weatherization services that may include comprehensive “whole house” energy assessments, state-of-the-art building diagnostics, and full-service “energy-efficient retrofits.” The program provides fully paid-for weatherization for qualifying Vermonters – about $10,000 worth of improvements for a typical home.
Another $35 million has been designated for moderate-income weatherization through Efficiency Vermont’s weatherization program, which provides several levels of incentives for Vermonters who are ready to tighten up their homes, and save energy and money. This funding means that weatherization will be more affordable and more accessible for more Vermonters than ever before. And with this expanded programming, Efficiency Vermont is seeking proposals from professionals or organizations for programs that increase the number of people working in or supporting the weatherization field in Vermont. Responses must be delivered electronically by July 18th.
Check out this video from Efficiency Vermont for an example of what a home energy visit is, and what it could mean for you and your family. And stay tuned for more exciting climate and clean energy progress this session all summer long, and the clean electrification, and transportation efficiency funding opportunities those investments can provide you, your family or community.
This is a foundation we need to build on going forward. Even $80 million will only get us so far when we’re looking at the entire state’s housing stock and need for this work – we estimate these funds will get 10-12,000 homes weatherized over the next few years, or about 1/8th of the weatherization we need to see in the coming decade to meet our climate targets.
Still, this a fantastic start on that work, and we couldn’t do this work without you. Stay tuned for more next week!