Spring 2021 Program Changes & Reminders
A Quick Legislative Update:
As we have passed the halfway mark of the Vermont legislative session and reached the Crossover deadline (the date by which policy bills must pass out of committee to be sent to the other chamber), it is a good time to provide a legislative update. Here's what we are watching as it relates to energy efficiency:
- The Senate Natural Resources & Energy (SNRE) Committee is trying to pass a bill that sets the goal of weatherizing 120,000 homes within 10 years, establishes a thermal energy efficiency charge to be collected by the PUC (but does not create any new revenue), and creates a new weatherization study committee. There are a lot of details on this bill to work out, and not much time to work them out in, making this a very fluid situation. Stay tuned for further updates.
- Legislators are also weighing in on the Governor’s budget request, which included up to $25 million for various weatherization projects. While the Appropriations Committees manage the budget, SNRE may include language on the appropriation in their weatherization bill to influence the process.
School IAQ Funding
- The Vermont House passed a COVID-relief bill earlier this month which included an additional $15 million for the School Indoor Air Quality program. The Senate has taken up the bill and while there are still more details to iron out before passage, it is poised to get across the finish line soon.
Efficiency Vermont Program Updates:
- Efficiency Vermont recently partnered with VGS and the Center for Research & Public Policy to understand how Vermonters think about weatherizing their homes.
- Please join us on Tuesday, April 13th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm to learn more about the results of this research.
Window Air Conditioner Rebate Reduction
- The rebate for ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient Window Air Conditioners will be reduced to $100 (from $200) for purchases made on or after April 1, 2021.
- Only ENERGY STAR Most Efficient models are eligible for this rebate. This is a limited list of products that go above and beyond traditional ENERGY STAR certification. It’s not enough to simply look for the ENERGY STAR logo to determine eligibility. Please check our qualified products list to ensure that the model you’re offering customers is eligible for a rebate.
Cord Wood & Pellet Stoves:
Beginning on April 1, 2021, the following changes will take effect on all cord wood and pellet stove sales:
- Pellet and cord wood stove incentive:
- $200 stove incentive
- $100 stove disposal bonus expires
- Qualified products list change:
- Efficiency standard increased to 75% minimum
- 2.0 GPH emission rating remains the same
- Customer eligibility:
- Replacement of existing stoves only
Beginning on February 1st, some minor changes to the existing Home Energy Loan took effect:
- Certain heating systems have been separated out, including Cold Climate Heat Pumps to reflect ducted, ductless and air-to-water systems.
- Customers will continue to need to provide household income information as part of the application process.
- New construction and gut rehab projects continue to be ineligible for a Home Energy Loan.
- The customer information that EEN members provide to distributors is critical for the operation of various Efficiency Vermont programs, including on heat pumps and heat pump water heaters.
- The most critical information to provide for all purchases is: CUSTOMER NAME and 911 ADDRESS
- We depend on contractors to provide accurate information about the installation at the time of purchase. Without accurate and timely information about where these products are being installed, it compromises our ability to continue supporting these programs. By having this information on hand when the purchase is being made, you are helping to secure that rebates will be available on the efficient products you and your customers value.
From Our Partners:
Vermont Electric CO-OP: A reminder that VEC 2021 bill credits are available for:
- Heat Pumps: VEC members can apply for a $150 heat pump VEC bill credit if the unit is installed in a building that meets thermal efficiency criteria. Explore the joint VEC-Efficiency Vermont incentive amounts available for ductless, ducted, and air-to-water heat pump systems.
- Pellet Stoves: VEC members can receive a bill credit of $150, plus another $150 if the unit is installed in a building that meets thermal efficiency criteria, for qualifying pellet stoves.
- Heat Pump Water Heaters: VEC members can receive a bill credit of $250 for qualifying heat pump water heaters.