The first step in saving energy is understanding how much you use and which products or systems use the most energy in your home. A professional home energy audit will provide you with details about where your home uses energy and a list of prioritized recommendations to reduce energy costs.
An energy audit typically costs $300-500, takes 2-4 hours, and involves a room-by-room examination of the residence, as well as a thorough examination of past utility bills and a blower door test. Detailed descriptions of energy audits are available from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Vermont Department of Public Service. Efficiency Vermont is the best resource for finding qualified energy auditors in the region.
A federal tax credit can cover 30% of the cost of an audit, up to $150. This is available through the end of 2032. Your savings will depend on your tax bill, because of how tax credits work: if you owe federal taxes, they can lower the amount you owe, but if you don’t owe federal taxes, they don’t generate a refund.
There are other free and low-cost options depending on your household income and the scale of the audit.
- Weatherization through the Weatherization Assistance Program includes a free energy audit.
- Virtual Home Energy Visit through Efficiency Vermont.
- HEAT Squad (not available in Orange County) – $400 energy audits and help finding contractors.
Updated February 2024