Heating & electric bills got you down? You’re not alone! The rising cost of fuel and power is squeezing a lot of budgets right now. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to lower your utility bills, and there’s lots of help available to make your home more energy efficient. From rebates to tax credits to low-or-no interest loans, you can put a dent in those utility bills – and your carbon footprint.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides federal tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades. These credits provide up to 30% of your costs for improvements such as installing heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, insulation, doors and windows, electrical panel upgrades, home energy audits, and more, up to $3,200. There is a $1,200 yearly credit maximum for building envelope components, home energy audits, and energy property. In addition, there’s a $2,000 yearly credit limit for electric or natural gas heat pump water heaters, electric or natural gas heat pumps, biomass stoves, and biomass boilers.
There are a variety of cash-back rebates available for energy efficient appliances and heating products, saving you thousands of dollars up front. Efficiency Vermont offers all of the details, but here are some highlights:
- $6,500 for air-to-water heat pumps
- $350-$850 for ductless heat pumps
- $6,000 for central wood pellet furnaces & boilers
- $800 for heat pump water heaters
- $400 for wood & pellet stoves
You don’t have to make major upgrades to your heating system to become more energy efficient and take advantage of available rebates – you can also get cash back on the purchase of energy efficient LED lighting, dehumidifiers, clothes dryers, induction cooktops, and smart thermostats.
If you live in Burlington, Burlington Electric Department offers special rebates for its customers on heating & cooling, lawn care, electric vehicles, e-bikes, and much more.
Vermont Gas Systems also offers a variety of rebates for efficient residential equipment, including efficient furnaces & boilers, space heaters, water heaters & more.
The Vermont Renewable Energy Resource Center administers renewable energy incentives via a variety of funding sources. These incentives include grants, rebates and vouchers for:
- advanced wood heating systems
- swapping out coal heating for pellet stoves & boilers
- converting to biodiesel fuels
- replacing old wood stoves with EPA certified efficient wood & pellet stoves
Another incentive for homeowners interested in solar energy: new home solar systems don’t add to your property tax bill, but does add to your home’s value. You don’t have to pay sales tax on solar panels in Vermont, either – saving you 6% immediately.
There are a variety of financing options for homeowners to make home energy improvements. Income-based loan options are available, some with 0% interest. Efficiency upgrades help to lower your energy bills, which can help offset your loan payments and lower your monthly expenses, even while you’re still paying off the loan. Efficiency Vermont can help you figure out the best financing options for your home improvements.
Rebate offers and incentives change frequently, and there are a lot of sources, so it’s a good idea to do a little extra research to determine what is available to you when you’re ready to get started on your energy efficiency home improvement project. These resources will help you get the best return on your investment:
Efficiency Vermont – rebates, incentives, financing, advice & more
Vermont Energy Saver – rebates & financial incentives
Energy Star – tax credits for homeowners
DSIRE – the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website keeps track of all incentives available nationwide.
And finally, check with your electric company and fuel provider to see what they have to offer in terms of discounts, offers, rebates, etc. for their customers.