Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and Burlington Electric Department (BED), joined by partners from Rewiring America, the nation’s leading electrification nonprofit, Key Motors of South Burlington, and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), today announced new and expanded Net Zero Energy incentives and an innovative, on-bill financing program for home weatherization and cold climate heat pumps.
“Congress’s passage of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 represents the most important climate action the federal government has ever taken,” stated Mayor Weinberger, a founding member of Rewiring America’s Mayors for Electrification group and one of the nation’s first mayors to sign the “Electrify Everything” pledge. “It is now up to America’s states and cities to implement this historic bill and make good on its transformative potential. These new and expanded incentives we are announcing today are designed to help our ratepayers make the most of new opportunities flowing from this first-time federal investment. There has never been a better time than 2023 to electrify your home or vehicle, and I encourage all Burlingtonians to take advantage of this robust combination of City, State, and Federal incentives and rebates to ‘electrify everything’ and help us achieve our bold goal of becoming a Net Zero Energy city.”
“Strategic electrification is a key component of achieving Burlington’s Net Zero Energy city goal that keeps more energy dollars in the local economy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions,” stated Darren Springer, General Manager of Burlington Electric Department and member of Rewiring America’s CEOs for Electrification group. “The message today for our customers is that there never has been a better time to switch from fossil fuels to electric vehicles, heat pumps, and other renewably-powered technologies. We also continue to focus on providing enhanced incentives for our low- and moderate-income customers to make these technologies more accessible and affordable.”
BED New and Expanded Rebates Available for 2023
In 2020, BED’s Green Stimulus program launched to boost both the City’s economic recovery from the pandemic and its transition to becoming a Net Zero Energy city. Since the Green Stimulus launch, residential cold climate heat pump installations have increased by approximately 20 times. In December 2021, voters approved the Net Zero Energy Revenue Bond, supporting critical investments in infrastructure projects and liquidity for BED’s incentive programs. For full details of all programs, please visit www.burlingtonelectric.com/rebates.
Program restrictions may apply to the below-listed 2023 incentive levels:
- Heat Pumps: BED continues to offer substantial rebates up to 75 percent of the installed cost on ductless mini-split heat pumps and, new for 2023, is offering a $500 rebate for a second heat pump. Also, BED has introduced a new tier of higher rebates for centrally ducted heat pumps offering up to 75 percent of installed cost for more heating-efficient systems. For more details, please visit www.burlingtonelectric.com/heatpumps.
- Electric Vehicles (EVs) & Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs): Rebates will continue at 2022 levels with increased rebates (to $3,000) for new EVs for low- and moderate-income Burlingtonians.
- Home Car Charging Stations for Pre-Owned EVs: Rebates increased to $900 (from $700) to match rebates for charging new EVs. New and pre-owned PHEV home charger rebates will continue at $700.
- Car Charging Stations for Workplace: Rebates increased to $2,000 (from $1,500) for a Level 2 system and $10,000 for a Level 3 system with a minimum 50 kW output.
- Residential Electric Riding Lawnmowers: Rebates increased to $300 (from $200). Rebates for residential electric push lawnmowers will continue at $100.
- Heat Recovery Ventilators & Energy Recovery Ventilators: These ventilation systems bring fresh air into a home while exhausting stale and moist air from bathrooms, kitchens, and other locations. New this year, rebates range from $500 to $1,000. For more details, please visit www.burlingtonelectric.com/ventilation.
- Continuing Rebates: In addition to the new and expanded rebates, many popular rebates will continue, including for electric bikes, electric snow blowers, electric chainsaws, electric forklifts, electric lawn care equipment, commercial electric push lawnmowers, and electric motorcycles.
BED Incentives Can Be Combined with State and Federal Incentives
In addition to BED incentives, Burlingtonians may be eligible for various State of Vermont and federal tax credits and incentives, including those from the new federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Illustrative examples follow:
- A moderate-income household purchases a Chevrolet Bolt: In the case of a new Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicle with a range of approximately 250 miles with a purchase price of $31,000, a low- or moderate-income customer could receive a $3,000 rebate from BED, at least a $4,000 rebate from the State of Vermont, and a federal tax credit of $7,500, totaling savings of $14,500 and reducing the overall cost by nearly 50 percent. Further, the customer could receive a $900 BED rebate toward purchasing and installing a Level 2 home EV charging station. Finally, that same customer could leverage additional savings by participating in BED’s special, residential off-peak EV charging rate of 65-70 cents per gallon of gas equivalent.
- A single-family household purchases and installs a ductless mini-split heat pump for heating and cooling: In the case of a single-head, ductless mini-split heat pump, a customer could receive as much as $2,450 in rebates and discounts from BED and, new this year, up to 30 percent (maximum $2,000) as a tax credit from the federal government. This combination of financial support could reduce the overall cost of a heat pump installation by approximately 75 percent. Additional federal rebates for heat pumps for low- and moderate-income customers are expected to be available later this year.
Tools to Help Assess Available Incentives
Resources to help BED customers determine which incentives are available to them include:
- BED’s Energy Services Team offers free consultations about electrifying homes.
- Rewiring America’s IRA Savings Calculator provides helpful guidance for federal home electrification incentives.
- Drive Electric Vermont details State of Vermont EV incentives.
- BED’s Net Zero Energy Podcast teaches about taking steps toward Net Zero Energy.
Support from Key Partners
Participating virtually in today’s announcement was Rahul Young, Director of Local Engagement at Rewiring America, who stated: “Burlington continues to lead the way in pursuing the ambitious goal of becoming a Net Zero Energy city by 2030. Offering additional localized incentives like Burlington Electric Department is something cities around the nation should strive to emulate. In combination with the newly available Inflation Reduction Act home electrification tax credits and forthcoming rebates, Burlingtonians are better positioned than ever to electrify everything, saving money on energy costs and creating healthier homes for families.”
Sophie Ferrone, Assistant Sales Manager at Key Motors of South Burlington, stated: “Our team at Key Motors of South Burlington appreciates the innovative work utilities like Burlington Electric Department are engaging in to create impactful incentives that are making it possible for more and more of our mutual customers to afford to drive electric. We invite Burlingtonians and all Vermonters to visit with us to learn more about the benefits and affordability of driving electric.”
New Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program (WRAP)
The partners also promoted the new Weatherization Repayment Assistance Program (WRAP), which will allow homeowners and renters to finance qualifying weatherization projects like insulation and air sealing, as well as heat pumps and advanced wood heating systems, with repayment through a monthly charge on their utility bill. The majority of program funding is targeted to households earning between 80 to 120 percent of the area median income (AMI). Households earning 80 percent AMI or less are eligible for free services through the state’s existing Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
“WRAP’s innovative on-bill financing model will make the benefits of weatherization available to more moderate-income households,” stated Maura Collins, Executive Director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). “Vermont Housing Finance Agency is excited to partner with Burlington Electric Department to reduce household energy costs, make homes safer and more comfortable, and help meet Vermont’s climate goals.”
The program intends to address challenges commonly encountered in weatherization, including high upfront costs and limited access to credit. WRAP will not run credit checks on customers, instead verifying a clean utility bill payment history. If a customer moves, the next occupant of the property will pay the surcharge. In addition to BED, WRAP will be offered through VGS and Efficiency Vermont, with all three organizations connecting customers with approved contractors and energy rebates. VHFA will provide capital and incentives for the remaining upfront costs of the project using state funding.
Springer added: “We strongly support the program’s focus on providing financing to expand access for moderate-income customers to invest in clean energy technologies. WRAP is an important new program that will help our community make progress toward our Net Zero Energy by 2030 goal.”