In 2020 Vermont’s Energy Action Network formed a Weatherization at Scale action team, with the goal of weatherizing every home owned or rented by low-to-moderate income Vermonters by 2030. The coalition, which includes Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), successfully urged Vermont lawmakers and the Governor to invest more than $20 million towards weatherization in the FY 2022 state budget. This includes a $9 million pilot tariffed to-the-meter financing home weatherization program to be administered by VHFA. Join the group on Monday, June 21st at 2:00 PM to learn more about the effort and future plans.
Energy costs can make up an especially large portion of housing costs for lower-income Vermonters. According to EAN, households earning less than $27,800 pay an estimated 18% of their income towards heating and electricity bills, compared to less than 5% for households earning more than $80,000. Low-income households are more likely to rent or own older homes, which are more likely to have heat leakage that leads to high energy bills.
Therefore, weatherization is not only important for Vermont to help meet its ambitious climate goals but will also help low and moderate income households save money over time. However, these households are the least likely to be able afford the up-front investment to their homes.
To help with the effort, VHFA will receive $9 million from the State to create a new pilot tariffed to-the-meter financing weatherization program that is expected to launch in 2022. Homeowners and renters or landlords will pay back the loans either through monthly payments or a fixed charge on the utility bill.
To learn more about the Weatherization at Scale Coalition’s plans, join a webinar on Monday, June 21st at 2:00 PM. This webinar is designed for legislators and potential partners who might be interested in collaboration and other EAN Members and Partners interested in learning more. Register here.
Graph source: 2021 EAN Progress Report for Vermont