Home Energy Savings Program – Frequently Asked Questions
WHO QUALIFIES FOR HESP?
HESP rebates are available to support projects in 1- to 4-unit residential buildings where at least one occupant uses the building as their legal principal residence. HESP program offerings are available to homeowners regardless of income level.
DO YOU OFFER ASSISTANCE FOR LOW-INCOME HOMEOWNERS?
Low-income homeowners are eligible for elevated incentives on basic weatherization improvements and ductless heat pumps through the Low Income Home Energy Savings Program. See the LIHESP claim form for details on eligibility criteria and program guidelines.
CAN I DO THE WORK MYSELF AND GET A REBATE?
Homeowners can work with an energy advisor to identify basic weatherization work that can be completed under the guidance of professionals, and be part of a scope of work that qualifies for incentives. Homeowners are not able to receive rebates on the self-installation of heating equipment or insulation work that requires use of mechanical equipment or area spray-foam applications.
DO YOU OFFER INCENTIVES FOR SOLAR POWER?
Financing is available to support installation of solar electric panels where a heat pump for space or water heating is included in the scope of work or has previously been installed.
DO HEAT PUMPS WORK IN MAINE?
Significant advances in heat pump technology have been made in the past few years, enabling heat pumps to operate effectively and efficiently in temperatures below zero. More than 20,000 heat pumps have been installed in Maine homes since 2014 and feedback from users has been almost uniformly positive.
DO I HAVE TO PAY UP FRONT FOR ENERGY UPGRADES?
Financing is available through Efficiency Maine that allows for no upfront costs or fees. Depending on the selected contractor, invoices can include discounts for anticipated rebates to lower the amount of money out of pocket at the time of installation.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ENERGY UPGRADES WILL GENERATE THE GREATEST RESULTS?
Any one of the individual Energy Advisors in our network can complete an assessment of your home to help you identify which energy saving projects are the highest priority for maximum cost-effectiveness. Find a local Energy Advisor with our Vendor Locator Tool.
HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT FOR MY REBATE?
Our HESP team processes and issues 200 – 300 rebate checks per week. We ask that homeowners allow for 4 weeks of processing time before inquiring about their rebate. If all required materials and signatures are provided, it is common for homeowners to receive checks in a little over 2 weeks from the time we receive the complete claim form.
WILL A DUCTLESS HEAT PUMP HEAT MY WHOLE HOUSE?
Many Mainers are able to heat their entire home with a single heat pump for all or most of the heating season. The amount of heating load you will be able to displace in your home depends on a few different factors including: how tight and well-insulated your home may be, what the distance is from the common area where the heat pump is installed to remote portions of the home, and if the heat pump temperature is consistently set high enough by users during the winter to provide maximum benefit and comfort.
IF I’VE ALREADY RECEIVED A REBATE FOR MY CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM WILL I QUALIFY FOR ONE FOR A HEAT PUMP?
Yes, homeowners can receive a rebate for a central heating system and still be eligible for rebates for ductless heat pumps.
DO I HAVE TO MAKE ALL OF MY ENERGY UPGRADES AT THE SAME TIME OR CAN I DO IT OVER TIME AND STILL GET REBATES?
Efficiency Maine recognizes that some homeowners prefer to get everything done at once, and others would rather spread the project out over a series of stages. Either way, we are happy to assist in your efforts to make the cost-effective energy upgrades that make the most sense for you and your home.
CAN I IMPLEMENT MULTIPLE ENERGY UPGRADES IN ANY ORDER I CHOOSE?
Our program requires that where insulation upgrades are included, an energy assessment by an Energy Advisor is completed to help homeowners be better informed about the most cost-effective options, as well as to take into account health and safety considerations before proceeding with insulation work. We recommend the same for heating systems, but do not require that an energy assessment is completed before receiving rebates on heating system improvements.
HOW DO I FIND A CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM ENERGY UPGRADE PROJECTS?
WHERE DO THE REBATE FUNDS COME FROM?
HESP rebates are funded from a combination of revenue from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) quarterly auctions, as well as electric and natural gas ratepayer conservation charges on monthly bills. Program offerings supported by conservation funding must be leveraged in a way to save more money over the life of improvements than the total cost of the upgrade or the incremental cost of a higher efficiency piece of equipment.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE REBATE FORMS I NEED?
All residential rebate forms can be found on the “Residential Forms” webpage, but are also linked to each of the related program webpages.
WHAT DOCUMENTATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE WITH MY REBATE CLAIM?
Along with a signed HESP rebate claim form, a copy of the paid invoice can be sent to the email address, fax number, or mailing address at the bottom of the rebate form. If the project includes an energy assessment, a HESP Energy Assessment Checklist also needs to be included. If a ductless heat pump is included in the project scope of work, a Ductless Heat Pump Installation Checklist must be included with the rebate claim form.
DO YOU OFFER ANY SPECIAL INCENTIVES FOR NATURAL GAS CUSTOMERS?
Maine Natural Gas, Bangor Natural Gas and Unitil Natural Gas customers are eligible for additional conservation rebates through Efficiency Maine as part of the Home Energy Savings Program (HESP). Summit Natural Gas customers may be eligible for additional rebates through Summit Natural Gas that are processed separately from HESP.
WHAT TYPES OF CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS QUALIFY FOR REBATES?
Rebates are available for high efficiency boilers and furnaces whether they use oil, propane, natural gas, biomass, or heat pumps to provide heat. See criteria in program guidelines attached to the HESP rebate claim form for specific details on criteria for efficiency rating and configuration by fuel type.
WHERE CAN I FIND A LIST OF WOOD AND PELLET STOVES THAT QUALIFY FOR REBATES?
EPA listed wood and pellet stoves with particulate emissions below 2.5 gph for pellet stoves and catalytic stoves, or 3.5 gph for non-catalytic wood stoves are eligible for a rebate where outdoor combustion air is ducted to or near the stove. Efficiency Maine maintains a list of known eligible stoves, but additional stoves may be eligible. Contact our rebate team before proceeding with a stove installation if it is not listed.
DO ALL HEAT PUMPS QUALIFY FOR REBATES?
In order for a ductless heat pump to be eligible for a rebate it must have a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating of 12.0 or greater for single-zone units, or 10.0 or greater for multi-zone systems. Please refer to our list of known eligible ductless heat pumps and configurations for confirmation.
IS MY SEASONAL CAMP IN MAINE ELIGIBLE FOR ENERGY UPGRADE REBATES?
Seasonal camps and rental, second homes, and vacation homes are not eligible. Only 1- to 4-unit residential buildings where at least one occupant uses the building as a legal principal residence are eligible for HESP rebates. Principal residency is defined as the address that is used for applicable documents including tax returns, driver’s licenses, and voter registrations.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR FINANCING FOR MY ENERGY UPGRADES?
Visit our financing page and click on “apply now online” to fill out our online loan application. Or call our team at 866-376-2463 to apply over the phone. You can apply for a loan at any time before scheduling work.