Energy Efficiency FAQs
How can I understand more about my home energy usage and whether there’s a good opportunity to save money or make my home more comfortable and healthier?
VGS will provide customers with a preliminary home energy evaluation based on information that you provide us and our analysis of your home’s historical natural gas energy use. From that information we will recommend a sensible path ranging from an in-home audit to an energy coach. For a typical home that has not already gone through a comprehensive weatherization project we will usually recommend an in-home energy assessment performed by professional energy auditor.
Ready to start? Tell us more about yourself with this form or call a VGS Customer Care team member at (802) 863-4511. Please be prepared with your VGS account number and the square footage of your home.
What is a home energy assessment?
A home energy assessment should be your first step before making energy-saving home improvements or adding a renewable energy system to your home. An assessment conducted by a professional energy auditor can help you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable. In addition to a room-by-room examination of the home, an auditor may employ equipment such as blower doors and infrared cameras.
How long does a home energy assessment take?
Depending on size or construction style of your home, an assessment can take from 2-4 hours.
What is meant by a “professional energy auditor”?
To ensure that the home assessment and any subsequent weatherization work performed meets the standards of quality established nationally and here in Vermont, we require that a BPI-Certified contractor conduct the assessment and manage the project.
BPI stands for Building Performance Institute. A BPI-certified contractor has the necessary knowledge and experience to understand how various components of your home interact to affect its overall comfort, health, safety and durability.
Do I need to use a BPI-certified contractor to conduct my home energy assessment or perform the weatherization work?
Yes. To be eligible for VGS weatherization rebates and financing offers, you must work with a BPI-certified contractor. This ensures that the home assessment and any subsequent weatherization work performed meets the standards of quality established nationally and here in Vermont.
How do I find a BPI-certified contractor?
Fortunately there are plenty serving VGS customers! Efficiency Vermont has developed an extensive directory of BPI contractors that serve the entire state. You can find a contractor here. Look for one in your area. There are company profiles and customer reviews to help you identify potential contractors. We recommend interviewing them about their process and costs.
What do home energy assessments cost?
BPI contractors provide different levels of service and fees vary as well. Once you have contacted a potential contractor, ask them how they perform their service and what they charge. Before setting up a site-visit make sure you are comfortable with their process and the price.
Are there Home Energy Assessment programs for low-income Vermonters?
Yes. Please contact CVOEO at (802) 862-2771 or visit them at www.cvoeo.org to learn if you are eligible.
Does VGS weatherization rebates cover new windows and doors?
We do not provide rebates for windows and doors. The cost of window or door replacements is extremely high and not cost-effective. The most cost-effective way to remedy a drafty house are always to air seal, insulate and properly maintain your heating equipment.
Are there differences between VGS and Efficiency Vermont’s weatherization programs?
By design, the programs are very similar. There may be slight differences in the rebate levels and financing offers. VGS customers will be served directly through the VGS weatherization program. Non-VGS customers will utilize Efficiency Vermont’s weatherization program.
What are VGS’ weatherization rebates?
We have generous rebates for weatherization projects plus our financing partner, Green Mountain Credit Union (GMCU), can provide easy and low-cost financing. Details can be found here.
Can I receive weatherization incentives and take advantage of the 0% interest rate loan offer?
Yes. Through our financing partner, Green Mountain Credit Union, you can take advantage of 0% financing and VGS rebates for your weatherization project. If you are adding other non-weatherization costs into the project the rates will vary. Details can be found here.
What are your rebates on energy efficient equipment, like furnaces and boilers?
We have great rebates to help you purchase the highest efficiency furnaces, boilers, and hot water heaters. Details can be found here.
Can I receive an equipment rebate and still take advantage of the 0% interest loan offer?
You must choose between 0% financing or taking the rebate with equipment. However, you can finance at higher rate and take the rebate. Details can be found here.