Efficiency Vermont, HEAT Squad team up to bring weatherization incentives to underserved communities
Efficiency Vermont and HEAT Squad, a service of the nonprofit NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, announced recently that they are partnering to expand access to Efficiency Vermont’s key weatherization program in regions of the state where a lack of contractor availability has made it difficult for many to participate.
HEAT Squad is one of 47 certified home performance contractors affiliated with Efficiency Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN). In order to access significant Efficiency Vermont weatherization incentives – which currently pay for half the cost of a weatherization project up to $4,000 for qualified moderate-income households --customers must work with an EEN contractor that is certified through the Building Performance Institute (BPI).
“EEN membership ensures that customers participating in our weatherization program are served by contractors who have the training and expertise to deliver on the promise of a properly weatherized home; lower energy costs, increased comfort, and a healthier living environment,” said Kelly Lucci, Director of Partner Engagement. “This model has worked well for most of the state, but in some rural areas like the Northeast Kingdom and in Bennington County we have struggled to recruit enough contractors to the EEN to meet the demand for these services.”
Historically, households in the Northeast Kingdom and in Bennington County have had access to fewer Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractors than other regions in Vermont. The partnership will leverage HEAT Squad’s EEN membership and its proven model for grassroots outreach to help Vermonters in these regions participate in the Efficiency Vermont incentive programs. HEAT Squad will work with out-of-network contractors to educate and oversee their work, ensuring it meets the appropriate Vermont State residential code requirements, BPI standards, and Efficiency Vermont’s program standards.
“For the last 10 years HEAT Squad has helped thousands of households save an average of $1,000 per year on their energy costs. Through this partnership with Efficiency Vermont we are delighted to extend our services to more communities and households who could benefit from these savings,” said Ludy Biddle, Executive Director of NeighborWorks of Western Vermont.
Efficiency Vermont will support the initiative with incentives, promotion, and training for out-of-network contractors working under NeighborWorks’ guidance. The effort was made possible by an authorization from the Vermont Legislature in 2019. In addition to the partnership with NeighborWorks, Efficiency Vermont used these funds to increase statewide incentives for income-eligible Vermonters. Efficiency Vermont also partnered with Vermont Technical College to offer free training and certification for weatherization contractors to grow the workforce across the state.
Customers interested in pursuing a comprehensive weatherization project with a qualified contractor should contact Efficiency Vermont at (888) 921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/HP.
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 12 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program for sustained excellence award for the last six consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to a more affordable, low carbon energy future through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at (888) 921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com.
About HEAT Squad:
HEAT Squad is a service of the non-profit NeighborWorks of Western VT offering one-stop-shop for energy efficiency for all incomes in Addison, Rutland, Bennington, Windham, Windsor, Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties. We offer $150 energy audits, same-day energy audit reports, objective advice throughout the entire process, referrals to trusted contractors, and access to available financing including the NeighborWorks of Western VT Energy loan, and submitting all information for Efficiency Vermont rebates. Helping Vermonters make their homes healthy, safe, cozy, and affordable. For more information contact HEAT Squad at 802-438-2303 or visit www.heatsquad.org.
Phone: (802) 540-7662