New england home

FAQ

Background Overview

NHSaves is a collaboration of New Hampshire’s electric and natural gas utilities, providing NH customers with information, incentives and support designed to save energy, reduce costs and protect our environment statewide. Partners are Eversource, Liberty Utilities, New Hampshire Electric Co-op and Unitil.

The NHSaves programs are funded through three sources:

  1. A portion of charges applied to electric and natural gas customer billing.
  2. Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction proceeds.
  3. Proceeds obtained from participation in ISO-New England’s Forward Capacity Market. (ISO-New England oversees the operation of New England’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines, while the Forward Capacity Market ensures that the New England power system will have sufficient resources to meet the future demand for electricity.)

Various programs and rebates are provided to help residents, businesses and towns in New Hampshire lower their utility bills, save on operating expenses and reduce the cost of completing energy-efficiency improvements. Other benefits for those who participate in the programs include:

  • Improved air quality
  • Increased comfort
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Improved building value
  • Healthier and more comfortable buildings in which to live and work

Rebates for homeowners range from $20 for installing ENERGY STAR® room air conditioners to $4,000 for new home construction that meets the ENERGY STAR home certification. There are rebates for installing the following ENERGY STAR certified products:

  • Clothes dryers
  • Clothes washers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Refrigerators
  • Air conditioners
  • Room air purifiers
  • Pool pumps
  • LED light bulbs
  • Natural gas thermostats
  • Cooling and water heating equipment

Other ways customers can save are through refrigerator and freezer recycling, and income-qualified customers can also earn incentives for weatherizing their homes through the Home Energy Assistance Program.

We Partner With ENERGY STAR®

ENERGY STAR is a program run jointly by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to help consumers and business owners reduce energy costs and protect the environment through the installation of certified energy-efficient products.

ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, helping us all save energy, save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. The ENERGY STAR label was established to eliminate the need for additional power generation plants, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase energy-efficient products that offer savings on energy bills without sacrificing performance, features and comfort.

Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy-efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY STAR product specifications. The EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:

  • Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
  • Certified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the certified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings within a reasonable period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling effectively differentiates products and is visible to purchasers.

ENERGY STAR specifications are revised periodically to ensure relevancy under current market conditions. The EPA strives to make certain that specifications differentiate the most efficient products.

Rebates: Appliances & Lighting

Yes, ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulbs will consume up to 90 percent less energy than the equivalent incandescent bulb. They will also last at least 15 times longer and could produce up to $230 in savings as compared to incandescent over the lifetime of the bulb.

You can apply for appliance rebates by mail, or online at NHSaves.com by going to “Rebates” and clicking on the purchased item or energy improvement. Most LED bulbs are instantly marked down by our rebates at specific participating retail locations; no rebate forms need to be filled out.

Rebates will be processed within four to six weeks of receipt of the application. For ENERGY STAR® appliances, please contact EFI at 877-647-2833 to get a status update or email nhsavesrebates@efi.org. For other programs, please contact your Utility Partner.

Home Audits & Weatherization

Customers who initially qualify for the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program can fill out the enrollment form online and file it electronically.

The Home Heating Index (HHI) tool is part of the NHSaves Audits and Weatherization Program, which can be found at https://nhsaves.com/programs/energy-audits-weatherization/. The tool helps customers determine if their home qualifies for an audit that can ultimately help them earn energy-efficiency incentives and rebates. Meaningful incentives, established contractor relationships and access to low-interest financing contribute to savings of up to $8,000 on overall improvement costs. Through enhanced weatherization tactics, customers save on all of their energy use, including oil, propane and wood heating fuels.

The HHI tool identifies homes with high energy use per square foot. Using the on-line tool, customers simply plug in their heating usage over one year, the square footage of their home, utility provider and zip code. Customers are then provided with a heating index of their home’s energy efficiency.

A certified home energy auditor will perform a comprehensive assessment of the home’s energy efficiency. The assessment is an energy and safety evaluation of the home that includes a visual inspection of lighting and appliances, as well as performance testing of the ventilation and mechanical systems, building tightness and insulation levels that will result in recommended energy efficiency improvements. Based on recommendations made by the auditor, you may be eligible for a 50 percent rebate of up to $4,000 to help you pay for these improvements.

During a home energy assessment, a specialist will evaluate the entire property using the standards developed by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) as a guideline. Included in the assessment will be the heating, cooling and water heating systems, the amount of insulation, the types of lighting being used and the efficiency of the appliances. The auditor will conduct diagnostic tests throughout the entire home, including the attic and basement, windows and duct work to detect areas that are susceptible to air leakage. The homeowner is provided with a detailed report with recommendations on how the home’s energy efficiency can be improved, including sealing leaks, adding insulation, ensuring ducts are properly connected and upgrading lighting, appliances, water and heating and cooling systems.

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index tells you how efficiently your new home will operate. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home with a HERS index score of 70 is 30 percent more efficient than a standard new home, while a home with a score of 130 is 30 percent less efficient. A lower HERS index can command a higher price when selling your home.

The Building Performance Institute (BPI) certifies all NHSaves energy specialists. The BPI provides credentialing, assures high quality and sets standards for home performance professionals. In order to receive certification from the BPI, contractors must pass written and field exams and be capable of assessing opportunities for enhanced energy efficiency through the use of state-of-the-art diagnostic tools.

The Home Energy Assistance (HEA) and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) programs use fixed unit pricing for all applicable measures offered through the programs (air sealing, insulation, lighting, etc.).

Customers can choose any contractor from our group of qualified HPwES contractors. Unfortunately, contractors who have not been approved by the utilities cannot participate in the HPwES program. A list of our participating contractors can be found on NHSaves.com

For Contractors

The ENERGY STAR® Homes program is for new construction and major renovations that are 15 to 30 percent more efficient than standard homes. In order to earn certification, homes must reach a level of performance regarding insulation, windows, heating and cooling equipment, air-tight construction, lighting, appliances and water protection systems. Third-party verification from a certified home energy rater is required to earn ENERGY STAR certification.

This design and build competition awards contractors for building energy-efficient, net zero energy single- and multi-family homes. First prize is $5,000, with second and third place winning $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. Homes must earn the ENERGY STAR® label, be completed and in move-in condition and be located within the service territory of Eversource, Liberty Utilities, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative or Unitil. Homes will be inspected during construction and at completion.

Utility partners work with all contractors involved with installing, designing, selling and supplying energy-efficient products. For more information, contact one of the participating utility companies.

Contacts

Please contact your utility provider here. For appliance product rebates, contact our rebate processor, EFI, at 877-647-2833 or email ask@efi.org.

For a complete list of local participating retailers, go to our rebates page and click on the product you are interested in to get more information and an updated list of participating retailers.

Along with shopping at local participating retail locations, you can find a select number of instantly-rebated qualified products at the NHSaves online store. Click here to visit our store.

The Home Energy Assistance Program offers incentives to income-qualified customers for weatherizing their homes and tips/tools on how to improve energy usage and conservation. The program is administered by the five Community Action Agencies (CAA) located throughout the state. Click here to learn if you qualify.

For more information on the qualification process for a Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Loan of two percent APR, click here. Contact your utility provider to learn what improvements are covered.