Cold winters in the Northeastern U.S. put stress on the energy grid and on household heating equipment. National Grid’s HEAT Loan offering provides 0% interest financing for efficiency upgrades in terms of space heating, water heating, and weatherization services. To qualify for a HEAT Loan, customers first complete a home energy assessment with the EnergyWise program. Once authorized and approved, customers can borrow up to $25,000 for up to seven years.
What we did
We examined the extent to which HEAT Loans enable HVAC and weatherization projects for participants. Our research also identified opportunities to enable higher uptake of measures offered through EnergyWise & HVAC programs.
To assess the HEAT Loan, we surveyed EnergyWise and HVAC program participants about their awareness of, experience with, and attitudes about this offering. We also conducted in-depth interviews with HVAC contractors and financial lenders who promote and offer the HEAT Loan.
What we found
- The 0% interest HEAT Loan is well-liked by participants, HVAC contractors and financial lenders. Surveyed respondents were also interested in using a HEAT Loan to finance other future upgrades, such as air conditioning.
- The HEAT Loan is generating energy savings for National Grid, especially for natural gas.
- Contractors and lenders reported some customer confusion about the eligibility and application process, and using the HEAT Loan in combination with other National Grid incentives.
We uncovered opportunities to educate contractors and program participants about the HEAT Loan offering. Improved outreach about the HEAT Loan will help streamline future upgrades through the EnergyWise program, clarify the participation process, and continue generating energy savings for National Grid.