Caleb and Laura Clark of Brattleboro found their perfect home right in town, allowing them to be closer to their jobs and their community— and to reduce their carbon footprint with the shorter commuting distance. It didn’t take long, however, to discover one problem with their home: while standing in the basement, Caleb could put his hand up and into the walls of the home and feel the warm air rushing up into the attic.
Insulating to Save Energy
Because they had “visions of dollars escaping into the wild,” they hired a BPI-certified contractor to conduct an energy audit of their home. They prioritized the list of recommended actions, and chose to insulate their walls, attic, and basement. They also air-sealed the entire house. The local contractor filled their walls with three inches of rigid foam and blew in cellulose, while also adding foam insulation to the basement. Caleb and Laura finished the task, adding 18 inches of cellulose in their attic.
Saving Money with Rebates and DIY Attitude
Caleb and Laura performed some of the work themselves, in consultation with the certified contractor. By signing off on their work, the contractor enabled them to take advantage of an Efficiency Vermont rebate of about $2,500, reducing the total cost of the project to $4,500 - a 36 percent savings on their initial investment. With their own equity and the rebate, the project was more affordable than it otherwise would have been. They now live in a more comfortable, sustainable, and affordable home. Previously, when the furnace would turn on, Caleb and Laura would worry they were heating the outdoors. Now, Caleb and Laura are happy that the family is saving money.