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Buying or Selling Energy Efficient Homes

 
Type
Home
 
Category
  • DOE Home Energy Score
  • Home Buying & Selling

Are you getting ready to buy or sell your home? Energy efficiency is not always at the top of the list for homebuyers and sellers, but knowing the right questions to ask - or answer - can help you find a more comfortable, safe home and avoid unexpected high energy bills after you settle in.  Not only that, but you can feel good knowing your home is part of a solution to the energy and environmental challenges we face.

Additional Details

What kind of fuel does the home heat with?  How much are the monthly energy bills usually?

Knowing what kind of fuel a house heats and cools with can be useful in determining what kind of energy rates you could expect to pay, but asking a homeowner about what they spend can also be helpful.  It's also important to remember that different people have different preferences when it comes to a comfortable temperature.  This means that your actual energy costs could be higher or lower than the current homeowner’s, if you end up purchasing it. 


Does the home have a Home Energy Score?

Following up with this question can reveal a lot more information about the house.   The DOE Home Energy Score can be interpreted as a “miles per gallon” rating on the efficiency of the home.  This can give you a better idea of how fuel efficient the home is.  It includes:

  • An energy efficiency score on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most efficient), based on the home’s foundation, roof, walls, insulation, and windows, as well as the heating/cooling equipment;
  • A total-energy-use estimate, as well as estimates by fuel type assuming standard operating conditions and occupant behavior;
  • Recommendations for cost-effective improvements and associated annual cost savings estimates;
  • And a “Score with Improvements” reflecting the home’s expected score if cost-effective improvements are implemented. 

If the home does have a Score,  ask about what improvements they made to get the score.  If they have not made the recommended improvements, it might be beneficial to talk to them about what has prevented them from doing so as well. 


If the home does not have a Home Energy Score, can it be evaluated by an inspector?

Some building inspectors are Building Performance Institute (BPI) certfied and/or Home Energy Score Assessors. Ask if your inspector if they are certified, and they may be able to reveal information about the insulation, heating and cooling systems, and more, which could potentially be used in negotiations.  

Visit HomeInspector.org to find a trained home inspector. 


Ask to specifically be shown homes with an energy-efficient rating.

The Home Energy Score is common in Connecticut, but there are many other certifications and rating that can determine the energy efficiency of a home. Asking your realtor to only be shown these homes can help to ensure you get an efficient, comfortable home with affordable energy bills. Visit the following pages to learn more about other rating systems and certifications:


Preparing Your Home for the Market 

When most people think about preparing a house for the market, they think of repainting, cleaning, maybe even changing out some hardware.  What can really set your home apart however, are the features you can't see.  Getting a Home Energy Score can help to reveal these "invisible" features, such as efficiency and comfort of your home, insulation levels, and the ways you can improve even more. 

The Home Energy Score can be interpreted as a "miles per gallon" rating of the home's energy efficiency.  This can give you a better idea of how fuel-efficient your home is.  It will include: 

  • An energy efficiency score on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most efficient) based on the home's foundation, roof, walls, insulation and windows, as well as the heating and cooling equipment;
  • A total-energy-use estimate, as well as estimates by fuel type assuming standard operating conditions and occupant behavior;
  • Recommendations for cost-effective improvements and associated annual cost savings estimates;
  • And a “Score with Improvements” reflecting the home’s expected score if cost-effective improvements are implemented.

Once you have this score, you can either use it as a marketing tool to sell your home, or as a roadmap for specific measures that can make your home more attractive after they’re implemented.

You can get your existing home scored today through a home energy assessment by calling 1-877-WISEUSE or by visiting Energize Connecticut's Home Energy Solutions page.  


Can Newly Constructed Homes be Scored?

New homes in Connecticut must meet a minimum level of energy efficiency, but without an objective, third-party measurement of energy efficiency,  it is difficult to make informed comparisons between homes and builders' claims.  The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index is the industry, and nationally recognized, standard for measuring the energy efficiency of a newly constructed home.  The closer to zero a home achieves on the HERS index, the more efficient it is. 

Energize Connecticut offers guidance for customers building a new home or gut rehab, including how to minimize your new home's HERS index score.  Your final HERS index score may also qualify you for a rebates.  

You can learn more about available residential new construction program by calling 1-877-WISEUSE or by visiting Energize Connecticut's Residential New Construction Program page. 


Find Rebates Available for Energy Upgrades 

Energize Connecticut and the Green Bank offer many other solutions for improving the energy efficiency of your home.  Find a solution that fits your budget and needs on the Find a Solution page.


Marketing Your Efficiency or Renewable Energy Investments

Maybe you’ve already upgraded your home’s insulation and windows, or maybe you’ve installed an air source heat pump.  Perhaps you’ve weatherized your home and installed solar panels.  But, now you’re ready to move. It is common for features like pools, granite countertops, or three-car garages to help homes sell for a higher price, so why shouldn’t high efficiency homes do the same?

Marketing these investments helps to maximize your return when you go to sell your home.  Energy-efficient, or renewable-energy powered homes are increasingly found to sell faster and at a better price than comparable homes on the market.  Here are some tips for making your energy investments marketable: 
 

  • Ask your listing agent if they are familiar with SmartMLS's green features

    A listing agent with working knowledge of green feature fields in the MLS will be able to provide greater consistency, and high-quality data entry. 

  • Share your Home Energy Score or other Green Rating

There is no requirement that you share your Home Energy Score or other green features, but if you want to market your efficient or renewable energy features, authorizing your score provider or real estate agent to share it with the local MLS will allow you to get your homes green energy information to show up on websites like Zillow or Trulia.  This can make your home more searchable, and differentiate it from the rest of the market. 

  • Find a qualified REALTOR®

Visit the National Association of REALTORS' (NAR) Green Designee Website

  • Learn about how going solar can positively influence your home's value. 

Visit GoSolarCT.com to learn more about the effects of going solar on a property's value and time on the market.   

You can also visit the following websites for guidelines on selling a solar home:

EnergySage.com

SolarPowerAuthority.com

Visit the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Green Designee website.  Here you can find a local REALTOR who has completed training on energy efficiency and sustainable homes.   This training gives REALTORS a working knowledge in helping you to buy an energy-efficient and green home. 

Home Energy Solutions - Income Eligible

 
Type
Home
 
Category
  • Appliances & Electronics
  • DOE Home Energy Score
  • Energy Assessment (Audit)
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Help for Income Eligible
  • Hot Water
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Rebates
Energy assessment (audit), no-cost energy upgrades for income-qualified homeowners and renters.

Additional Details

In-home services have resumed with health and safety guidelines in place.

Please visit our Energize CT COVID-19 Energy Efficiency Program Update page for more information and frequently asked questions or visit:

Virtual pre-assessment to Home Energy Solutions is now being offered as a safe, convenient first step for you to make energy-saving improvements. This pre-assessment is available through live, virtual discussions with a technician at no cost. Connect with us to learn more about how we can help you reduce your energy costs.

Is your home drafty and cold in the winter? Does it need more insulation? Do your energy bills feel overwhelming? We can help.

If your family’s combined gross annual income is below the state’s 60 percent income median (see the "Who is eligible" section below), you may qualify for no-cost energy-saving services. A technician certified by the Building Performance Institute will come to your home and make energy-saving improvements to reduce drafts and help you save on your lighting and hot water bills.

If your home qualifies for additional services such as insulation or a more energy-efficient refrigerator, they will arrange for contractors to come back to your home and do the work. Depending on your circumstances, you may receive these services at no cost.

Read "How it works" below to find out how to sign up.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.

Six Steps to Take Smart Energy Action

Check the “Who is Eligible” section below to see if you qualify for this no-cost program.

Submit an application to your local utility online, by phone or by mail. To apply:

  • Online, click the link of your utility provider:

Eversource     UI     CNG     SCG

If you rent, we will need your landlord to sign a form giving us permission to perform the energy-saving services. You are responsible for getting your landlord’s signature on the form.

If you receive fuel-assistance through your local Community Action Program (CAP) agency, you may also apply through their office.

Your utility will review your application. If you qualify, they will assign an authorized contractor or your CAP agency will contact you and ask you to provide them with your name, address and contact information. If you do not qualify, the utility will contact you and suggest other programs that might help you.

A local utility-authorized contractor or your CAP agency will contact you to schedule your service with a certified technician.

(Note: Because of high demand for this program, there may be a waiting list. The program is subject to available funding.)

  • The home energy checkup begins with important safety tests on your furnace and water heater.
     
  • Next, the technician pinpoints drafts and air leaks using a blower-door test. Then they seal the leaks to reduce the drafts.
     
  • If you have forced hot air or central air conditioning, the technician tests your ductwork to check air flow and seals any major leaks.
     
  • The technician may install hot water-saving devices, including low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, and energy-efficient lighting (subject to program caps).
     
  • The visit ends with a kitchen table wrap-up. The technician reviews the work done around your home and discusses any deeper energy-saving measures they plan to install. These may include:
     
    • Insulation
       
    • ENERGY STAR® certified appliances to replace old, inefficient appliances. This may include refrigerators, freezers and dehumidifiers.
       
    • Gas heating system burner and furnace repairs or replacements (limited to Eversource and CNG customers)
       
    • ENERGY STAR certified windows to replace single-pane windows if you use electric heat or gas heat exclusively (Windows may require a co-payment.)
       
  • The technician gives you a Home Energy Solutions program booklet, which shows the areas of your home that were serviced during the visit. It includes information about easy ways to save energy wherever you live, and it contains utility and state resources that can help make your energy bills more manageable.

If your home qualifies for additional energy-saving measures, then your contractor will install them. A different contractor may do the work, but your technician will make all of the arrangements.

One of the additional energy saving measures may be an ENERGY STAR certified Heat Pump Water Heater. Learn more about Heat Pump Water Heaters.

In some cases, your landlord may be asked to pay some of the costs of these deeper energy-saving measures.

That’s it!  Your savings begin with your energy checkup, so don’t delay. Sign up now.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.

Who is Eligible?

Residential customers of Eversource, UI, CNG and SCG who meet income-eligibility requirements may qualify for this program. To determine if you are income-eligible, locate your family size on the chart below and the dollar amount next to it. If your family’s combined gross annual income does not exceed this amount, you meet the state’s 60 percent income median and qualify for the program.

Income Guidelines for the 2020–2021 Fuel Season
Yearly Income Limits All Household Members)

Family Size Maximum Annual Income
1 Under $37,644.67
2 Under $49,227.64
3 Under $60,810.62
4 Under $72,393.60
5 Under $83,976.57
6 Under $95,559.55
7 Under $97,731.36
8 Under $99,903.16

Assets, like your home and car, are not included.

You may also qualify if you meet your utility’s hardship criteria. Please contact your utility to find out more.

Applying is easy. Just submit your completed application form to begin:

Eversource     UI     CNG     SCG

If you rent your home, your landlord must complete the Landlord Service Agreement that is included with the application.

If you have received an HES energy checkup on your home within the last 36 months, you may not be eligible to participate again.

If your family’s combined gross annual income is above the state’s 60 percent income median, you may qualify to participate in Home Energy Solutions - Core Services for a co-pay.

If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your utility’s website to see what energy efficiency programs are available to you. Please click here for information on how to contact your municipal utility.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information

WE ALSO OFFER TWO SIMILIAR PROGRAMS:
Home Energy Solutions - Core Services

No matter how you heat your home, there’s an easy way to lower your energy bill that’s also good for the environment, and it can even make your home more comfortable. Home Energy Solutions offers on-the-spot services to homeowners and renters for immediate savings. For a limited time, Home Energy Solutions is available to eligible customers at no-cost. You may also receive up to 100% off approved insulation projects recommended during your visit. We empower you with recommendations and resources for deeper savings, too. Learn more about this program.

Multi-family
The multi-family building (5+ units) you live in or own may be eligible for energy-efficiency upgrades through more than one program. This one-stop program brings them all to your door, making it easy for you to save energy. Learn more about this program.

Home Performance with ENERGY STARENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to the ENERGY STAR program for guidance on saving energy, saving money, and protecting the environment. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a systematic approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort in homes, while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov.

 

If you are struggling to pay your monthly energy bill, Eversource and UI offer programs to help. You can learn more about these programs on your utility website: Eversource  UI

Home Energy Solutions - Core Services

 
Type
Home
 
Category
 
Rebate
Up to $7500
  • Appliances & Electronics
  • DOE Home Energy Score
  • Energy Assessment (Audit)
  • Financing
  • Gas Water Heating
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Hot Water
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Rebates

Additional Details

In-home services have resumed with health and safety guidelines in place.

Please visit our Energize CT COVID-19 Energy Efficiency Program Update page for more information and frequently asked questions or visit:

Virtual pre-assessment to Home Energy Solutions is now being offered as a safe, convenient first step for you to make energy-saving improvements. This pre-assessment is available through live, virtual discussions with a technician at no cost. Connect with us to learn more about how we can help you reduce your energy costs.

Do you ever wonder how much energy you lose through leaky doors, windows and ductwork? Do you suspect that your insulation isn’t making the grade? What about your major appliances? Wouldn’t it be great if you could have an expert give your home an energy checkup - and do some of the work right then and there? You can.

In one easy visit, utility-approved technicians will evaluate your home’s energy performance and install basic weatherization and energy-saving measures such as sealing air leaks and installing energy-efficient lighting, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads. The average home in Connecticut receives about $1,000 in services and realizes $200-$250 in savings on their annual energy bills. Additionally, the technicians will provide written recommendations for deeper energy-saving measures such as Wi-Fi thermostats, insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling, water heating, windows and appliances. To help you in making smart energy choices, your recommendations will include information on rebates and financing along with payback and investment information specific to your home. 

Check out our video to see what happens during a typical energy assessment (audit). Read more below to find out how to get started and if your home qualifies.

Steps to Take to Smart Energy Action

ONLINE: Visit your utility provider's website below:

Eversource     UI     CNG     SCG

PHONE: Call 1-877-WISE-USE.

AUTHORIZED CONTRACTOR: use the Find-a-Contractor tool to locate a contractor in your area.

A local utility-authorized contractor will contact you to schedule your service with their HES-approved technicians. (Note: Because of high demand for this program, there may be a waiting list. The program is subject to available funding.)

  • The home energy checkup begins with important safety tests on your furnace and water heater. Next, the technicians perform a blower-door test to pinpoint drafts and air leaks, then seal critical air leaks.
     
  • If you have forced hot air or central air conditioning, the technicians test your ductwork to assess airflow within the ductwork system and seal significant leaks.
     
  • Hot water-saving measures including low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators may be installed.
     
  • Energy-efficient light bulbs may be installed (subject to program caps).
     
  • The visit ends with a kitchen table wrap-up. The technicians review the work done in your home and tell you about deeper energy saving measures that can help you save even more energy and money. They will also go over financing options to help you make the energy efficiency upgrades. During this wrap-up, they will provide you with:
     
    • An easy-to-read Home Energy Solutions workbook, which shows what areas in your home were addressed during the visit, the results of the blower-door test, 101 easy ways to save energy and other information resources and forms specific to your home.
       
    • Payback and investment information for deeper energy saving measures, such as insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, water heaters, ENERGY STAR-certified windows and appliances.
       
    • Information about rebates.

Now that you have your Home Energy Solutions workbook, it is up to you to take the next step toward saving more energy. Decide what you can do on your own and what you may need to hire a contractor for. The sooner you take action, the sooner you’ll see savings!

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.

During your Home Energy Solutions kitchen table wrap-up, the HES-technician will provide you with rebate information based on their recommendations for your home. Rebates may include the following:  

  • Up to $1.70 per square foot on approved insulation projects recommended during your visit.
  • Up to $200 for qualifying central air conditioning systems
  • Up to $50 for replacement of certain inefficient appliances with qualifying energy-efficient models
  • Up to $650 for replacement of inefficient gas furnaces with qualifying gas furnaces
  • Up to $750 for replacement of inefficient gas boilers with qualifying gas boilers
  • $50 for replacement of each single pane window with a qualifying ENERGY STAR double pane window
  • Air Source Heat Pumps:
    • up to $15,000 per home for qualifying Air Source Heat Pumps for existing electric heated homes (ONLY with a Home Energy Solutions visit)*
    • up to $15,000 per home for qualifying Air Source Heat Pumps for existing oil or propane heated homes (ONLY with participation in the heat Pump Pilot)*
    • up to $1,500 per home for qualified integrated controls for Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Ground Source Heat Pumps:
    • up to $7,500 per home for qualifying Ground Source Heat Pumps for existing electric or natural gas heated homes
    • up to $15,000 per home for qualifying Ground Source Heat Pumps for existing oil or propane heated homes

*Please note: this solution is very popular, may have a waiting list and is subject to available funding.

All residential customers of Eversource, UI, CNG, and SCG are eligible for this program. Applying is easy. Just complete the application form online (if you own the home) found on your local electric or gas company’s website or mail in a completed form:

Eversource     UI     CNG     SCG

If you rent the home, you will need to obtain your landlord’s approval.

If your family’s combined gross annual income is below the state’s 60 percent income median, you may qualify for our HES - Income-Eligible (HES-IE) program, which provides free services to qualified customers.

The program is ideally suited for one- to four-family homes. If you live in a 5+-unit apartment building, our Multi-family Initiative may be better suited for you – and your neighbors.

If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your utility’s website to see what energy efficiency programs are available to you. Please click here for information on how to contact your municipal utility.

 

Programs for Income-Eligible Customers and Multi-Family Properties

Home Energy Solutions - Income-Eligible (HES-IE)

If your family’s combined gross annual income is below the state’s 60 percent income median, you may qualify for our Home Energy Solutions - Income-Eligible (HES-IE) program. The co-pay fee is waived and you may receive additional energy-saving services at no cost. Learn more and to see if you qualify.

Multifamily

The multi-family building (5+ units) you live in or own may be eligible for energy-efficiency upgrades through more than one program. This one-stop program brings them all to your door, making it easy for you to save energy. Learn more about this program.

 

Not Sure if an In-Home Visit is Right for You? Take a No-Cost Online Assessent

EVERSOURCE CUSTOMERS

 

UI CUSTOMERS

 

Home Performance with ENERGY STARENERGY STAR® is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to the ENERGY STAR program for guidance on saving energy, saving money, and protecting the environment. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a systematic approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort in homes, while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov.

Similar to the miles per gallon (MPG) rating on your car, the Home Energy Score is a way to see how much energy your home uses compared to others and guide your home improvement decisions. Administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, this score is available to Home Energy Solutions program participants. You may opt-in at the start of your scheduled Home Energy Solutions visit.

Subscribe to DOE Home Energy Score