State of Vermont and Efficiency Vermont unveil $36 million for flood recovery programs launching September 5
Homeowners, renters, and businesses can get help with efficient home heating systems, appliance replacements
WINOOSKI, VT—Starting September 5th, Efficiency Vermont will launch new flood recovery programs making $36 million available to assist Vermont homeowners, renters, and businesses affected by the summer floods. The programs will help income-eligible Vermonters with costs related to replacing home heating systems, water heating systems, and other home appliances. Efficiency Vermont will also help businesses replace equipment damaged or destroyed by the floods.
Find a complete list of Flood Recovery offers from Efficiency Vermont (updated September 6, 2023).
The new programs can also be used to upgrade home electric panels to accommodate cold climate heat pumps and additional electrification efforts, now or in the future. The programs will be available for low- and moderate-income residential customers, a determination based on annual income at 120% or below the median area income of an applicant’s home county.
“These new programs will support Vermonters in rebuilding healthy, safe, and more efficient homes,” said Governor Phil Scott. “My team continues to work with our partners to provide assistance to those impacted by flooding. Supporting efficiency and electric upgrades is just one way to help people recover and rebuild.”
The new programs offer enhanced incentives on qualified products, as well as reimbursements for eligible purchases retroactive to July 10, 2023. Incentive and reimbursement amounts are still being determined to leverage the funds to support as many Vermonters as possible. They will cover:
- Home heating and cooling systems, including ducted and ductless heat pumps, central wood pellet systems, wood/pellet stoves, and qualifying ENERGY STAR-rated boilers and furnaces.
- Heat pump hot water systems and ENERGY STAR-rated hot water systems.
- ENERGY STAR-rated replacement appliances like refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dryers (including heat pump dryers), window air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers.
The programs are possible through the state Emergency Board’s reallocation of $10 million of existing funding to support flood relief programs and $25 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for electric panel upgrades and heat pump water heater installations. The Department of Public Service and Efficiency Vermont have been collaborating on how to get resources to Vermonters most in need as quickly as possible.
“Making purchase decisions while recovering from a disaster can seem daunting,” said June Tierney, Department of Public Service Commissioner. “That’s why the Department worked quickly to rededicate these funds to help Vermonters now. Installing efficient essential equipment means years of lower energy bills for those residents and for all electric customers. Heat pumps and efficient appliances also demonstrate our resolve to meet Vermont’s climate commitments.”
The $36 million funding package also contains $1 million allocated by the Vermont Public Utility Commission to support businesses in partnership with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the state’s Regional Development Corporations. And $200,000 from the Agency of Natural Resources to support contractors with incentives during flood response efforts. These programs will include:
- Engagement with small and disadvantaged businesses struggling to leverage financing.
- A focus on electric efficiency with equipment and appliance replacements.
- For contractors, incentives for each flood-impacted customer served by the end of the year.
- For contractors, bonus incentives for projects that electrify a customer’s home heating, on either a primary or supplemental basis.
“As we recover from the floods, we know that there are a wide variety of needs and it’s essential that we think creatively and strategically on how we best support Vermonters,” said House Speaker Jill Krowinski. “This program will play a crucial role in our recovery efforts, aiding in the replacement of appliances damaged by the flood with more energy-efficient options. This will support the need for immediate recovery as well as long-term resiliency for businesses, homeowners, and renters. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with state and community partners to ensure that we can rebuild stronger than ever.”
"Thousands of Vermonters have been impacted by the floods and are in need of timely support to recover stronger,” said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Baruth. “As Vermont continues to experience the impacts of climate change, it’s imperative that we support Vermonters in rebuilding their homes with efficiency, sustainability, and climate resilience in mind. I'm grateful for the collaborative, swift work that made this emergency relief possible."
“The devastation left by successive storms is unprecedented. I’m grateful to the State of Vermont for stepping up and reallocating existing funding to support this emergency relief effort,” said Peter Walke, Efficiency Vermont’s managing director. “Efficiency Vermont stands ready to help Vermonters in need access these programs. We want to make sure Vermonters are warm in their homes come winter. I encourage all who are interested to contact one of our energy advisors.”
The goal of these programs is to augment, not supplant, federal support. Vermonters looking to access the new programs should complete the FEMA process—including an initial application and inspection—before participating in any Efficiency Vermont incentives, rebates, or financing offers. Receiving additional funds before completing the full FEMA process could jeopardize an individual’s FEMA application.
Efficiency Vermont will make applying for these funds as easy as possible, but residents should be ready to provide the following:
- Attestation of a FEMA submission, if eligible, or attestation of ineligibility for FEMA benefits.
- For renters, a declaration of ownership for any flood-impacted appliances signed by a landlord.
- Attestation an applicant’s income is at 120% or below the median area income of the applicant’s home county.
- Purchases must be on Efficiency Vermont’s Qualifying Products List (a list of qualified ENERGY STAR boilers, furnaces, and water heaters will be available when the programs launch).
Renters will not need a landlord’s declaration for appliances used for remediation, health, and safety, such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers. Rental property owners will also be eligible for these flood programs using existing Efficiency Vermont qualifications based on affordable rent levels and other factors.
The new programs can be layered on top of flood relief-specific and existing programs from other energy partners in the state, including electrification incentives for heating systems and expanded electric and efficient vehicle incentives for flood-impacted residents.
The new programs also work with Efficiency Vermont’s current offers for Vermonters recovering from flood damage. Additional services like free Virtual Home Energy Visits, where an energy consultant performs a remote assessment of a flood-impacted home and helps Vermonters understand their options around repairs or equipment replacement, are also available. New programs can also be paired with Efficiency Vermont’s Home Energy Loan, which features low-to-zero-percent interest financing, and increased weatherization incentives funded through ARPA covering up to 75 percent of a project’s cost (up to $9,500).
The flood relief programs come on the heels of the release of Efficiency Vermont’s 2023 Energy Burden Report, which mapped data on energy costs as a percentage of household income. That report found households with lower incomes generally face higher energy burdens. The most burdened live in rural towns as well as in densely populated neighborhoods in Vermont’s larger cities. Early data on the destruction from the summer floods found communities with some of the highest energy burdens now face some of the most significant flood damage. These new programs can help to ease some of that burden as Vermonters look to rebuild.
For more details on the flood recovery programs, or to apply for support, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/flood or call 1-888-921-5990.
About Efficiency Vermont
As the nation’s first Energy Efficiency Utility, Efficiency Vermont has helped Vermont avoid over 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award for the last eight consecutive years. Efficiency Vermont works with partners to help our state transition to more affordable, low carbon energy use through education, incentives, and support for our clean energy workforce. Learn more at www.efficiencyvermont.com.
Efficiency Vermont Press Contact
Phone: (802) 540-7662