The hot summer days are in the rear-view mirror, and before long the temperate fall weather will give way to the bitterness of winter in Connecticut. On top of getting mentally prepared for that cold fact, it’s also time for homeowners to make sure their houses are ready to withstand the hardships of winter.
Enter Energize Connecticut, an in-state initiative aimed at saving residents money by helping them update their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to cleaner units that accommodate their homes more efficiently.
Two of the unique ways in which they are going about this is through a loan assistance program and a subsidized energy audit.
The first is a straight-forward and practical. Energize Connecticut is offering loans up to $15,000 with 0% APR financing through October 31, according to one local newspaper The Bristol Press.
The money can be used to check, repair, or completely upgrade residential units to newer, more energy efficient models; by law the lowest efficiency allowed for gas furnaces is currently 78%, and new models can reach levels of 97%. The low monthly payments can be spread out from three to 10 years.
Michael Fontaine is a local business owner and industry expert with over 20 years of experience who currently owns Fontaine Mechanical. It should be noted he stands to benefit from the increase in business, but his knowledge and credibility in the field is respected.
“This is a great opportunity for people to upgrade to more energy efficient units,” Fontaine said. “A lot of people who might not be able to otherwise purchase a new furnace or boiler should be able to afford these low monthly payments.”
The second program designed to help home owners decide if/what services they’re in need of is the Energy Audit Program, which is only available for customers of Eversource and United Illuminated, according to NBCConnecticut.com. Basically, for $99 homeowners can have energy experts come in and run a procedure in their house that will show them exactly where there are leaks in doors and windows; they will also smoke test for HVAC efficiency to find gaps in a chimney or pipes and seal those spaces with foam and replacements if necessary.
To have a similar service done on the open market would cost around $1,000, according to Eversource. They’re able to offer it at a reduced rate thanks to customers subsidizing it with $25 in annual charges on their utility bill.