A healthy home - a healthier you!
Health problems created by poor indoor air quality can be mitigated by a well performing, energy efficient home. Let us help make energy efficiency improvements easier and less expensive for you to take advantage of in Allegheny County.
Navigating the energy efficiency market isn’t easy. Let us use our expertise to connect you to trustworthy contractors and financing options available near you.
- Free expert advice navigating the home energy efficiency marketplace
- For home energy efficiency investments of $5,000 or more, we will provide up to an additional $2,500 for even deeper improvements
You must meet all of the following requirements to be considered for participation in the Healthy Homes Incentive Program
- Home located in Allegheny County
- Owner-occupied single family home
- Non-smoking household
- Provide up to 13 months of utility data*
- Invest a minimum of $5000 towards energy efficiency upgrades of $5,500 or more
Still have questions? Visit our FAQ section.
Once you are accepted into the Healthy Homes Incentive Program, you will be able to take advantage of the following services.
- Phone Consultation: Our team will help identify your needs.
- Financing Identification: Be connected with loan packages.
- Test-in Home Energy Audit: Determine the best scope of work for you and your home.
- Contractor Selection: We offer a list of certified and trustworthy contractors.
- Test-out and Savings Verification: To ensure that your standards and expectations were met
What is an audit and why do I need one?
An energy audit is like a doctor’s check-up for your home. An impartial third party professional comes into your home and performs a number of tests that will determine what retrofits will be the most effective. Unlike traditional, specialized contractors – the auditor does not benefit from selling you any particular recommendation. No two homes are the same, so it is important to analyze each one individually and provide a custom report. Think of the audit as the prescription your house needs to become more healthy and comfortable.
The Healthy Homes Incentive Program requires a home energy audit because it sets the baseline for your home so that its home energy improvements can be monitored, and verify that the highest quality work has been performed.
Do I have to pay for the audit? How much does it cost?
Homeowners pay for the initial audit, which runs between $450 and $550. The cost of the audit is applied towards the “total cost of work” which will be used to determine the incentive amount.
What do you mean “up to” $2,500?
The incentive amount is calculated by subtracting the initial $5,000 homeowner investment from the Total Cost of Work of $5,500 or more, which will include work performed as well as the audit and test-out. I order to receive the full $2,500 incentive, the total cost of work must be $7,500 or greater. Meaning, if your project is $5,500, we will pay out $500. If the project is $7,500 or more, we will pay out $2,500. One more example! If your project is $6,500, we will pay out $1,500.
What are “whole-home energy upgrades”?
Thing about it as a holistic approach to home improvement. Building professionals have come to understand the home as a system. It’s the idea that adjusting one thing in our homes can have an impact on other things in our home.
Once again, think of your home as if it were a body. When we get sick, before prescribing a treatment, a doctor may ask questions in order to determine whether or not there may be a side effect.
Do I have to commit to all the work that the auditor recommends?
Audits are not a commitment to work – you can pick and choose the improvements you would like to make from a prioritized list provided in the audit report.
Can I use my own auditor/contractor?
Our team will provide you with contact information for a reliable energy auditor. After they diagnose the issues in your home they can recommend a contractor who is a part of our program. If you would like to use a contractor that is not part of our program, they must first show proof of accreditation, and sign a contract with us before becoming eligible.
How long does the process take?
After you complete the profile sent to your email – you should expect to hear back from an associate within one business week.
An audit can be scheduled in as little as 24 hours of the phone call. An audit report is available within a week.
Depending on the work that is recommended through the audit, construction on energy upgrades can vary.
A quality assurance test-out process is performed shortly after the construction is completed.
What happens once the energy upgrade is complete? Is there any additional follow-up?
After your home energy upgrades have been completed, an auditor will return to your home to perform a “test-out”. This test out will confirm that all work has been correctly completed without any negative health or safety impacts to your home. Upon our confirmation that the work has passed the test-out, the incentive money will be released to the contractor. Further follow up will be done on an individual basis. We may ask for future utility bills and a testimonial regarding the work done.
How is the incentive paid?
Upon verification that work has been successfully completed, you will receive notice that the incentive has been paid directly to the contractor on your behalf. You will see the incentive deducted from your final bill to the contractor.
Do you finance? What type of financing options will you recommend to me?
While we are not a financing agency, we will gladly recommend you to local and statewide partners who will be able to assist you. Specifically, we are working with Keystone HELP, a Home Energy Loan Program that offers special interest rates as low as 2.99% for Pennsylvania residents.
I had windows installed last year, am I eligible to receive the incentive?
Unfortunately, previous retrofits are not eligible to receive the incentive.
How long does this program last?
The Healthy Homes Incentive Program launched in January 2014. It will end when 100 qualified homeowners are signed up or December 2015 – whichever comes first.
What if I just need a furnace (or windows or insulation)?
Our program is designed to focus on “whole-home” energy improvements that include several measures. Single-measure improvements, such as replacing a furnace, may be eligible if they meet program qualifications (over $5,500 in work) and are recommended by the auditor.
How do I know if my home is energy inefficient?
A majority of homes in our region could use energy efficiency upgrades. Common signs of a home that could benefit from home energy upgrades include, but are not limited to; indoor dryness in the winter, high utility bills, drafty rooms, moisture issues, uneven temperatures throughout the home, difficulty keeping a steady temperature and any other comfort issues all could be remedied with energy efficient retrofits.
If you have not lived in your home for a full 13 months, then we will use the bills available for as long as you’ve resided in your current home. We may ask you to contact the service provider to gather the bills from your prior residence.
So wait, who runs this program?
The Healthy Homes Incentive Program is a project of Growth Through Energy and Community Health (GTECH) Strategies and funded by the Allegheny County Health Department. GTECH Strategies is a 501(c)3 located in Pittsburgh, which is dedicated to the cultivating the unrealized potential of people and places to improve the economic, social and environmental health of our communities.
What is ReEnergize Pgh?
ReEnergize Pgh is an initiative fueled by GTECH Strategies, working to increase demand for energy efficiency services in Allegheny County through partnerships, education and advocacy.
Where were you last year when I was fixing up my home?!
Still just a glimmer in our funder’s eye. You can keep up-to-date with future GTECH activities by following our blog, liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter or signing up for our newsletter.