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BENNINGTON — A nonprofit housing organization is offering several programs to help Bennington County residents winterize their homes, such as getting a rebate for buying a new pellet or wood stove.

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont is offering income-qualified homeowners up to $3,800 for the removal of their old stove and installation of an efficient, clean-burning stove.

The service not only helps clients save money but also promotes better air quality inside and outside the home, said NeighborWorks Director of Operations Melanie Paskevich.

Rebate amounts are based on household size and income, giving people with limited income the most assistance, according to the organization.

Until the end of the month, NeighborWorks is also offering energy audits for a third off the usual cost. Bennington County residents who speak to a scheduler between now and Oct. 31 need to pay only $100 rather than $150, NeighborWorks spokeswoman Svea Howard said.

The audit can help customers figure out where they are losing heat in their homes, if their insulation is adequate, where they are wasting electricity or if there are health and safety concerns.

Homeowners who make energy improvements with certified contractors can get rebates from Efficiency Vermont for half of their project cost — up to $1,000 or up to $4,000.

“We can help customers get access to these rebates,” Paskevich said, adding that the rebate amount depends on the applicant’s income.

People who are approved for a home repair loan through NeighborWorks can also get a $1,600 grant through the end of the year to offset their loan cost, as long as their income and project qualify.

“It’s hard when you’re looking at a house that has lots of issues, so we’re there to help these customers through that process,” Paskevich said.

The goal, she added, is to help residents ensure that their homes are safe and healthy.

To find out more about NeighborWorks’ programs and services, call 802-438-2303 or visit nwwvt.org or heatsquad.org.

Contact Tiffany Tan at ttan@benningtonbanner.com or @tiffgtan on Facebook and Twitter.


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