Connecting & Activating Vermont Communities

Center for Research & Public Policy presents: How do Vermonters think about weatherization?

The presentation begins just over minute 4 of the recording

The Center for Research & Public Policy presents the results of a statewide survey on weatherization in Vermont, conducted on behalf of Efficiency Vermont and VGS.

This statewide survey was designed to collect input from Vermont residents on their experience with (and perceptions of) weatherization. This research can be used to help all who work in the weatherization space to improve our understanding of potential gaps between actual opportunities for weatherization and customers’ perceived opportunities for weatherization.

The objectives include:

  1. Understanding how Vermonters perceive “weatherization” (what does it mean to them, what is their experience with it, and how might they value it)
  2. The relative motivations/barriers/attitudes towards different types of weatherization projects (air sealing, insulation, windows, DIY etc.)
  3. Learn what weatherization projects Vermonters have undertaken classified by type, scope, cost, how they were completed and why (DIY vs. contractor)
  4. Understand how weatherization fits into customers’ home improvement journey. Weatherization is one type of home improvement among many. Learning how weatherization relates to other home improvement projects will help inform how to reach Vermonters more effectively.
  5. Understand the role financing plays in decision making, and test different types/options.

Key Findings:

Approach to their homes

  • They describe their homes as safe, comfortable spaces for family.
  • Their homes are less comfortable in the summer than in the winter
  • When they have money for home improvements, weatherization is not always their first choice

How Vermonters think of weatherization

  • They believe it is important
  • They understand what kinds of projects are associated with weatherization
  • They do not consistently rank the impact of different project types accurately (weatherizing windows was rated as the most impactful, but air sealing tends to be more impactful)
  • Many do not have an accurate understanding of the degree to which their home is weatherized. Most (56%) believe their home is mostly or fully weatherized. The Vermont DPS estimates that only 11% of Vermont homes are fully weatherized.

How Vermonters approach weatherization projects

  • They prefer to pay for them upfront rather than use financing.
  • They start them in response to a problem (discomfort in the home, equipment needing
  • replacement, high energy bill).
  • They look to Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas Systems, and Burlington Electric for information when planning weatherization projects (in addition to friends/family and Internet searches).