New ‘incentive calculator’ launches to help Vermonters electrify their homes

By JUAN VEGA DE SOTO

VtDigger

Published: 04-23-2024 3:51 PM

Modified: 04-23-2024 5:22 PM


To celebrate Earth Day, two nonprofits announced the launch of a Vermont-specific incentives calculator to electrify everything from your car to your water heater. 

Rewire America, a national electrification nonprofit, worked with Efficiency Vermont on a version of Rewire’s “savings calculator” that gives Vermonters a customized breakdown of the incentives they might qualify for if they want to electrify any aspect of their homes.

Vermont House Speaker Jill Krowinski, D-Burlington, Agency for Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore and representatives for all three members of Vermont’s congressional delegation spoke at the Statehouse on Monday at the launch of the new online tool.

It is part of Efficiency Vermont’s efforts to help people know where to start when electrifying their home and to nudge them toward decarbonising and installing high-efficiency electrics,  according to Managing Director Peter Walke. 

To that end, the calculator is simple to use. Users can input six pieces of personal information — homeownership status, ZIP code, electric utility company, household income, tax filing status and household size — and the tool responds with a list of currently available incentives.

These incentives come in many different forms — from tax rebates to upfront discounts — and from a variety of federal, state and private sources.  

For instance, a home-owning Burlington family of four with an annual income of $80,000 might qualify for $840 off a heat-pump-powered clothes dryer, up to $5,000 off a new electric vehicle or 75% off, up to $9,500, of the cost of weatherizing their house — among other incentives. 

The tool returned such results within about 30 seconds. It’s also available in Spanish. 

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“The breadth of incentives available to Vermonters is extensive,” Walke said. 

In their brief remarks to the assembled press at the Statehouse, the representatives of the congressional delegation underscored that most of these incentives were a product of the federal Inflation Reduction Act’s $8.8 billion in funding for the Department of Energy to allocate to states for home energy efficiency and electrification projects. 

In her remarks, Moore said her old clothes dryer stopped working, and she used the calculator over the weekend to see if she should switch to a heat pump dryer. 

“It was actually extremely cost-competitive,” she said.