Weatherization is one of the most effective ways for Vermonters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Home heating contributes to a third of our energy consumption, and weatherization ensures that residents are not wasting a dime because of leaky homes or lackluster insulation. And while weatherization saves homeowners far more money over time than it costs, the fact is that for many low- to moderate-income Vermonters, the upfront cost of weatherization simply isn’t possible without assistance.
During the last legislative session, at the urging of VPIRG and our allies, the state legislature allocated roughly $2.6 million into weatherization incentives specifically for middle-income Vermonters. While that falls far short of the funding ultimately needed, as a result residents earning up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) can now receive up to $4,000 in weatherization rebates – certainly a step in the right direction. That means that 60% of households are now eligible to save up to half on weatherization installation costs.
Wondering if you’re eligible for the enhanced incentives? Check out this chart from Efficiency Vermont:
Not eligible for the enhanced incentive? Higher-income households are still eligible for up to $2,000 in rebates – rebates on an investment that will pay for itself (and then some!) while cutting climate pollution and supporting local jobs.
And for Vermonters with lower incomes, the Low Income Weatherization Program run by the Community Action Agencies is a great option that also saw its funding increase due to legislative action this year.
For folks that decide to weatherize their home through these new incentives, Efficiency Vermont is also partnering with utilities across the state that offer incentives on home heat pumps. Heat pumps cut heating costs even further, making them an excellent addition to weatherized homes.
Efficiency Vermont’s goal is to get 3,000 homes weatherized in the next year and a half with the additional resources the legislature allocated. If your home isn’t already weatherized, we hope you’ll consider being a part of that push!
As we look ahead to 2020, we’ll be pressing Vermont legislators to continue building on the success of Vermont’s current energy efficiency and electrification initiatives by:
- Expanding the scope of Efficiency Vermont and our other efficiency utilities to help Vermonters reduce energy use and switch to more efficient electric heating and transportation;
- Making the reduction of climate pollution a new top priority for the efficiency utilities while continuing to invest in electric efficiency to save all Vermonters money; and
- Pushing for 100% renewable electricity to be required for all utilities by 2030 to ensure that our energy needs are met with clean, local, and resilient energy sources.
We think it’s possible to make all this happen in 2020, but it won’t unless we demand it. Click here to add your name to a letter to Vermont lawmakers in support of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 paired with far more efficiency and electrification.