With fall just around the corner, NHSaves is making it easier than ever for residential customers to assess their home’s energy efficiency and qualify for incentives through the introduction of a new and improved online tool and application process.
The updated Home Heating Index (HHI) tool is part of the NHSaves Audits and Weatherization program, which can be found here. The easy-to-navigate tool helps customers determine if their home qualifies for an audit that could ultimately help them earn incentives and rebates, as well as heat and cool their home more efficiently.
NHSaves, a collaboration of Eversource, Liberty Utilities, New Hampshire Electric Co-Op and Unitil, helps New Hampshire residents, businesses and municipalities reduce energy costs and protect our environment.
“The tool brings people into our retrofit weatherization program, which improves the efficiency of the home by tightening it up, adding insulation and making it more comfortable,” says Matt Minghella, Residential Program Manager at Liberty Utilities. “This also allows the home to consume less energy for cooling.”
The HHI tool identifies homes with high energy usage per square foot. Using the online tool, customers simply plug in their heating usage over one year, the conditioned square footage of their home, their provider and zip code. Customers are then provided with an index of their home’s energy efficiency. The online tool simplifies the application process by taking it entirely online.
“The process was very old school before and my gut feeling is it might have turned people away,” says Frank Melanson, Supervisor, Energy Efficiency at Eversource. “Now things are much smoother.”
“In the past, folks had to print, sign and mail in the application with copies of fuel-use records,” says Phil LaMoreaux, Energy Solutions Program Administrator at New Hampshire Electric Co-Op. “Now they can just upload an image.”
Meaningful incentives, established contractor relationships and access to low-interest financing contribute to significant savings of up to $4,000 on overall improvement costs. Through enhanced weatherization tactics supported by NHSaves, customers save on all of their energy use, including electricity for cooling during the summer, as well as on oil, propane and wood heating costs during colder months.
The HHI tool and weatherization program is a part of the Home Performance with ENEGRY STAR® program, a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home that can save customers on energy costs. The program was recently honored by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) with the Exemplary Program Award as one of the leading energy efficiency programs in the United States
Due to low fuel prices, some natural gas customers may not qualify for the full Home Heating Audit. Liberty Utilities and Unitil natural gas customers who can upgrade at least one home heating zone to a WiFi thermostat may qualify for a newly launched efficiency assessment called a “Visual Audit.” This abridged audit still determines the home’s energy efficiency and provides homeowners with the direct installation of efficiency products like LED light bulbs and pipe wrap, as well as a check on insulation.
“Customers who go through this program will see immediate benefits through their utility bills and through the fact that their house will be more comfortable and quieter because it’s better insulated,” says Ben Stephenson, Program Coordinator, Customer Energy Solutions for Unitil.