Step 1: Getting Started

Program Benefits
The Home Energy Loss Prevention (HELP) Program has been developed to provide services to local homeowners using local contractors, to provide uniform energy assessments, reports, and energy improvements. This means that standards have been developed and are followed to ensure that work is completed in a consistent, professional manner. You may even qualify for a free audit or assistance with obtaining financing for your improvements.

Savings

Energy usage of a home is dependent on the behavior of the occupants and the structure itself. Heating and cooling costs tend to be the highest energy expense and attempting to better control those costs can lead to greater savings.

Determining Need
By having an energy audit completed using a HELP approved contractor, you will receive a detailed evaluation of your homes appliances, heating and cooling equipment, insulation, and air infiltration deficiencies along with a detailed report of findings and recommendations. Getting an assessment performed on your home by a certified professional is an important first step. The assessment can help you understand your home better and target areas where you can make the most cost-effective improvements.

Cost
The cost of energy improvements will vary based on the scope of work to be performed and the condition and size of the home. In general, an average home up to 2,000 square feet can be retrofitted with insulation upgrades in the attic and crawl space, air sealing in the attic and crawlspace, and duct sealing for approximately $3,000 - $5,000. 

Paying for Work
Since the most effective improvements are also the least expensive, the basic energy retrofit is considered an affordable upgrade for many homeowners. However, for owners who find the costs to be prohibitive, financial assistance may be available to those who qualify. The monthly savings in utility costs is often enough to cover the zero or low-interest loan payments available through the HELP program.

Applications
To be eligible for participation in the program, homeowners must have:
  • Household incomes that meet the area median income limits outlined on the prequalification questionnaire
  • Homes that are located in James City County and are occupied by the owner.
Verification of ownership and income will be required prior to acceptance for participation in the program. Applicants will be pre-approved based on the return of the completed questionnaire. All applicants are not guaranteed to be approved but those who are will be notified and an appointment will be scheduled to complete the full application.