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  • Derby 802.766.4949
  • Lyndonville 802.626.4588
  • Morrisville 802.888.3827

Heating Your Home or Business

Long winters here in Vermont can put a strain on anyone’s budget! Combating the cold weather and frigid temps can result in high costs associated with heating your home or business over the long winter months. Besides the many energy-efficient products we sell to help reduce fuel consumption while still keeping you warm, there are a number of other ways to help you save costs and afford upgrades.

 

Heat Saver Loan

The Heat Saver Loan is a finance product available through through Efficiency Vermont to help Vermonters improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The loan offers attractive financing for homeowners looking to overcome up-front expenses to upgrade home energy performance and equipment and save money. Interest rates are based on an applicant’s household income and loan terms. Samples A, B and C below show three projects for your comparison with rebates applied and also what the low monthly Heat Saver Loan payment would be, thus making a new high-efficiency system quite affordable. Just think of what you’ll save each month in fuel and electricity costs! Call your local Fred’s Energy office today for a FREE, no obligation estimate. Please note: the Heat Saver Loan is only available on heat pumps and hybrid water heaters.

Efficiency Excellence Network

As a member of the Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN), Fred’s Energy has advanced training and certification in energy efficiency services and can pinpoint where and why your home or business is losing energy – and how to correct it in a way that lowers your monthly energy bills. Rebates and incentive programs are available through Efficiency Vermont for energy efficiency home improvements when completed by an EEN contractor. The following are Energy Saving Opportunities for Vermonters (information from Efficiency Vermont as of December 2019):

 

Business Energy Loan

The Business Energy Loan (BEL) offers an easy, turnkey solution for financing improvements with no closing costs and $0 down. You work with us to qualify your project, and apply for the loan through VSECU. As is the case with all of our financing options, we perform a cost-savings analysis to ensure that the project will save money by reducing your energy costs. And with the BEL, the lender can often structure the terms so that your monthly net costs stay the same or even go down.

  • Low interest rate (currently 3.75% – 5.75%), no closing costs, $50,000 loan cap
  • Flexible terms of up to ten years, 100% financing available
  • Streamlined application process, no business financials required
  • Nonprofits and other institutions are encouraged to apply
  • Also available to owners of multifamily rental housing

Eligibility Requirements for the Business Energy Loan

  • Financing must be for energy efficiency improvements
  • Business or institution must be physically located in Vermont
  • Credit score of applicant must be 660 or higher
  • Must be registered and in good standing ($25 fee) with the Vermont Office of the Secretary of State
  • Participation requires VSECU membership, available to any Vermont-based organization or individual who lives or works in Vermont

 

Home Energy Loan

The Home Energy Loan is a fast, easy, and flexible way to finance home weatherization and heating improvements. These can include heat pumps, air sealing and insulation, solar hot water heaters, heat pump water heaters, central wood pellet boilers and furnaces, and advanced cord wood and pellet stoves.

  • Low-interest loans of up to $40,000, with 100% financing available
  • Can be processed in as little as two business days
  • Low closing costs (can be rolled into loan), payback period of up to 15 years

Interest rates*

Household Income     Loan Term:
5 years or less
    Loan Term: between
5 and 10 years
    Loan Term: between
10 and 15 years
Below $60,000     0%     1.99%     2.99%
Between $60,001 – $90,000     0%     2.99%     3.99%
Over $90,000     4.99%     5.99%     6.99%

*Income guidelines apply.

How customers can apply

  1. Work with an Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN) contractor to receive a scope of work and price quote on your home weatherization or heating improvement project. Complete the project verification form with your contractor.
  2. Send project scope of work, price quote and project verification form to a participating Lender, Opportunities Credit Union or Vermont State Employees Credit Union, to complete the financing process and receive payment. Contact Efficiency Vermont for information about participating lenders.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What property types qualify?

Eligible properties include owner-occupied primary residences as well as vacation homes located in the state of Vermont that are owned by the borrower and for which the borrower is paying property taxes on the dwelling, including:

  1. A residential structure on land owned by the borrower which contains one to four family housing units (owner must live in one of the units for multi-unit properties),
  2. A mobile home on land owned by the borrower or in a state registered mobile home park, or
  3. Individual units of condominiums or cooperatives.

Properties cannot be rented more than 14 days per calendar year, or be considered an investment property. (Businesses may be able to access financing through Efficiency Vermont’s Business Energy Loan) Properties must be an eligible property type based on the Credit Unions’ underwriting guidelines. Properties cannot be an asset in any pending bankruptcy, legal or divorce proceeding.

What types of projects qualify?

When installed by an Efficiency Excellence Network (EEN) contractor, the following home improvements are eligible for financing through a Home Energy Loan:

  • Cold-climate heat pumps
  • Central wood pellet heating systems
  • Cord wood and pellet stoves
  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Weatherization improvements
  • Health and safety measures and repairs needed for the efficiency improvement can constitute up to 50% of the total loan amount

Direct-vent or wall-vented space heaters and do-it-yourself weatherization projects do not qualify for financing through this program. Vermont Gas customers are only eligible for Heat Saver Loans for cold-climate heat pumps. Vermont Gas customers may contact Vermont Gas or Efficiency Vermont to learn about other financing options.

What Efficiency Vermont incentives can be combined with the loans?

Home Energy Loans can be combined with Efficiency Vermont rebates.

What determines project eligibility?

Project Category   Eligible Items   Ineligible Items Contractor Requirement
Weatherization
  • Air sealing
  • Insulation
  • Crawlspace/basement encapsulation (e.g. vapor barrier (thick plastic/poly) on floor sealed to foundation)
  • Storm windows
  • ENERGY STAR windows & doors
  • Appliances listed on Efficiency Vermont’s qualified products list
  • Heating system and heating distribution system repairs and upgrades, including chimney repairs
  • Heating system replacements and CCHPs meeting specifications on Project Verification Form
  • Bath fans, kitchen range hoods, whole-house ventilation (ERVs/HRVs)
  • Other measures as listed in the audit report
  • 1-4 unit multifamily
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters
  • Vermont Gas customers
  • Health & safety items that are over 50% of work scope, and repairs that do not pertain to the efficiency improvements (e.g. handrail for stairs)
  • Finish work (e.g., painting)
  • Rental homes (may not be rented out more than 14 days/year)
  • Must be owner occupied (vacation homes are OK as long as they aren’t rented out for more than 14 days per year when not occupied by owner)
  • Contingency budgets
  • Work on home or in areas not required for insulation/air sealing (e.g., wood floors, ramps/stairs)
  • Wood stove/propane chimney inserts
  • Wall mounted fuel heating systems (e.g., gas wall heaters)
  • Multi-family with greater than 4 units
  • Cannot be an asset in a pending bankruptcy, legal, or divorce proceeding
  • Humidifiers
  • Work in areas previously uninsulated (e.g. additions, 3 season porches)
EEN; Out of network subcontractors allowed so long as work is identified by the EEN contractor as a necessary part of the project.
Ductless Cold Climate Heat Pump (CCHPs)
  • Equipment meeting qualifying criteria as listed on the Project Verification Form
  • Installation labor
  • Associated electrical panel upgrades necessary to accommodate heat pump
  • Natural gas customers (Vermont Gas customers)
  • Heat pumps not listed on the Efficiency Vermont Qualified Project List (QPL)
EEN (can be installed by all HPwES contractors)
Solar Hot Water (Solar HW)
  • Equipment meeting qualifying criteria as listed on the Project Verification Form,
  • Installation labor
  • Removal of old equipment and associated building repairs, (e.g. sealing off old water heater flue penetration)
List in solar category at www.revermont.org
Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs)
  • Equipment
  • Installation labor
  • Removal of old equipment and associated building repairs (e.g., sealing off old water heater flue penetration)
  • Replacing non-natural gas water heating system (Vermont Gas customers only eligible if existing water heating system is not natural gas).
  • Replacement of natural-gas water heating systems.
EEN

Health and Safety

All projects are eligible for financing of associated health and safety measures provided that the health and safety portion of the work does not account for more than 50% of the total loan amount. Example health and safety measures include: vermiculite, knob & tube wiring, foundation repairs, drainage systems and repairs, roof repairs, and mold remediation. Ineligible health and safety repairs examples include: work in areas of the home not required for the work scope, accessibility ramps, stair installation or repair.

What equipment specifications are required?

Heating system measure specifications align with requirements for heating system rebates offered by Efficiency Vermont and including the following:

Space Heating Systems:

Cold Climate Heat Pumps:

  • Must be a qualifying model. Qualifying models can be found here.

Central Wood Pellet:

Water Heating Systems:

  • Solar Domestic Hot Water:
    • Must install web-connected monitoring device
    • Must be a qualifying system. Qualifying systems can be found here.
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters:
    • Must be a qualifying model. Qualifying models can be found here.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR:

  • Scope of work must be developed and provided by an Efficiency Excellence Network Contractor
  • Air-leakage reduction ≥ 10%
  • All recommended health and safety improvements must be included in the Contractor’s Scope of Work, and must be installed

Questions?

Visit www.efficiencyvermont.com or contact your local Fred’s Energy office in

– Derby, VT at 802.766.4949

– Lyndonville, VT at 802.626.4588

– Morrisville, VT at 802.888.3827

 

VGreen

VGreen through VSECU – a credit union for Vermonters – provides financing for any project or purchase that improves energy efficiency in your home or business. If you’re considering a heating system upgrade, energy-efficient appliances, or a new high-efficiency heat pump, there’s a VGreen loan option that can help you achieve long-term energy savings. Visit www.vsecu.com/vgreen for more info.

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