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Energy Efficiency Upgrades on a Budget

Energy efficiency upgrades come in many shapes and sizes, and at a wide range of price points. Here are some upgrades that work with any budget.
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hand dialing smart thermostat

Energy efficiency upgrades run the gamut from a 29-cent foam gasket cover for stopping sneaky drafts around electrical outlets to a $30,000 investment in a geothermal heat pump to tap into the heat energy just below the earth’s surface. But upgrades don’t have to break the bank in order for you to reap the rewards. Here are some ways to upgrade your home’s efficiency on a budget.

Appliances

Look for the ENERGY STAR symbol when it’s time to replace appliances, whether it’s a portable air-conditioning unit or a washing machine. Mail-in rebates through Mass Save and NHSaves will save you money up front, and your investment will pay off in the long run by lowering your monthly energy bill.

Insulation & Weatherization

Unitil has partnered with ENERGY STAR to offer our New Hampshire customers Home Performance with ENERGY STAR – a whole-house audit and weatherization program. Participants will receive a comprehensive assessment of their home, and you may be eligible for a 75% rebate (up to $8,000) on the recommended energy efficiency improvements, and interest-free loans are also available to qualified applicants for the remainder of the cost. Click here or call 603-715-8938 for more information.

Massachusetts customers can take advantage of a Home Energy Assessment, where an Energy Specialist will install energy-saving products at no cost, including ENERGY STAR®–certified LED light bulbs, advanced power strips, low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and programmable thermostats. You may also qualify for no-cost targeted air sealing of leaks in drafty areas of your home, 75% off approved insulation improvements, and 0% HEAT Loan financing for eligible system upgrades. To get started, click here or call 866-527-SAVE (7283).

New Hampshire's Weatherization Assistance Network offers Unitil customers the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEA). This statewide program provides up to $8,000 in energy efficiency improvements to income-qualified households that may be particularly vulnerable to increasing energy costs. All products and services provided by HEA are provided free of charge. Call 1-800-322-1073 for more information.

Hot Water & Heating

Natural gas customers can save hundreds of dollars on heating equipment that meets or exceeds certain efficiency ratings. Rebates on qualified heating system upgrades are as high as $1,500, and you can save $100 by installing a smart thermostat. For questions on eligible equipment, contact your professional plumbing and heating contractor or the GasNetworks rebate administrator: 1-866-716-9334 or https://www.gasnetworks.com.

Lighting

Special in-store pricing is available through our New Hampshire residential ENERGY STAR lighting program, saving you money right at the cash register. Light emitting diode light bulbs (LEDs) use 80 percent less energy than standard incandescents. Look for ENERGY STAR® lighting products at participating retailers or visit our online store.

The average lifespan of a refrigerator is 12 years, and an ENERGY STAR model can save more than $200 in that time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Small upgrades can have a big impact on energy consumption and the associated costs.
  • A little research before you pick up the phone or head to your local home improvement center will arm you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
  • Smart choices will not only save you money at the time of purchase, but you’ll continue to reap the rewards long after the upgrade has been paid for.