FAQ: Free weatherization for income-qualified customers
Find the answers to frequently asked questions about free weatherization for income-qualified customers below. Contact us if you can't find the answer to your question.
What does weatherization mean? What services are performed?
Weatherization is the process of repairing and improving your home to save energy and increase safety and comfort. As part of this offering, your home may be eligible for several energy-efficiency upgrades, including:
- Attic insulation
- Knee wall insulation
- Basement sidewall insulation
- Attic and basement air sealing
- Attic hatch air sealing
- Band joist air sealing
- Sealing of ductwork
- Window caulk
- Installation of door sweep
- Door weather stripping
Weatherization upgrades have several immediate benefits, including:
- Increased comfort by reducing drafts and air leaks
- Reduced energy waste
- Lowered energy costs by increasing the efficiency of your home
- Improved air quality inside your home
What are the eligibility requirements for weatherization services?
This opportunity is open to current Nicor Gas customers who:
- Have been income qualified through an approved agency partner
- Have a natural gas heating system such as a furnace or boiler in the home
- Live in a home that shows no signs of mold, moisture, structural or roof damage, or other unsafe situations that prevent the work from moving forward
What organizations or agencies can qualify customers?
Currently, customers can participate by signing up for the Nicor Gas Sharing Program. You can find more information on how to sign up for Sharing here. We are also working with Rebuilding Together in Robins and United Way of Boone County.
Can I participate if I rent my home?
Yes. Renters will need to get authorization for the weatherization services to be performed from their landlord. energySMART will provide the proper landlord release forms to be completed.
What is the process?
After being income qualified, a home assessment will be scheduled for interested customers, where the contractor will determine if the home is eligible for the air sealing and insulation improvements and will install free energy-saving products. Eligible homes will have free air sealing and insulation products installed during a second visit.
How long does the process take?
The initial assessment and installation of free energy savings products should last approximately two to four hours. The weatherization upgrade time requirements will vary based on what upgrades your home needs. Air sealing and insulation upgrades may take up to 1-2 days to install. The entire process from start to finish including establishing initial home assessment, and weatherization upgrade installations should take no longer than 60 days.
Will the energySMART team make other repairs to my home at the same time?
The energySMART team will not make any other structural repairs to the home. If there is any structural damage, roof damage, or any conditions that would make the home unsafe for a contractor to complete weatherization upgrades, the weatherization projects will not be performed until the necessary repairs have been completed by the homeowner or landlord.
How many people can receive these services? Is there a limit?
We are offering the free weatherization services on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
What problems with my home could prevent me from getting these services?
The weatherization upgrades would be unable to be completed if there is evidence of structural damage, roof damage, or any conditions that would make it unsafe for a contractor to complete the work. You have the option of choosing whatever contractor you’d like to make repairs and can contact energySMART when the issues have been fixed to move on to the air sealing and insulation step of the process.
Do I need to be home when this work is done?
Yes, you will need to be present during the initial home assessment with the contractor as well as when the air sealing and insulation products are installed.
Will I qualify for other programs if my home is weatherized?
Weatherization services will not disqualify you from participating in other energy assistance or energySMART offerings.
If I recently added insulation to my attic or participated in the Illinois Weatherization Assistance Program, will I qualify for these services?
If you meet the eligibility requirements for the energySMART weatherization services, a contractor will assess your home to see if it is eligible for additional weatherization upgrades.
What are my options if I don’t qualify for these services?
Take a look at the other offerings in our website or contact the energySMART team at 877.866.4239 for more information on how you can participate in our programs.
Can I choose what contractor I use?
Customers cannot select what contractors they use. Nicor Gas and energySMART have selected a certified, licensed contractor to work with on this offering.
How do I know if the company energySMART hires to do these services is qualified?
Nicor Gas and energySMART have relationships with several licensed, experienced contractors who must meet certain qualifications to be hired to complete any upgrades or improvements. Our contractors agree to perform services to standards set by the Department of Energy and local ordinances, as well as the Building Performance Institute (BPI). BPI is a nationally recognized organization that provides guidelines around how a home should be tested and this ensures the home is properly diagnosed from both an energy standpoint as well as health and safety.
How will I know it’s the Nicor approved contractor who comes to my house and not someone else?
Our contractor will have proper identification; they will also bring energySMART branded paperwork to your appointments. If you have any questions or concerns, call us at 877.866.4239.
Can I choose what brand/type of insulation/products to use?
No. All participating customers will receive the same quality insulation product installed by a licensed, professional contractor.
How long is the product under warranty for?
What kind of air sealing and measures will be installed?
Once your home assessment is complete, the contractor will let you know what measures are best for your home. Please ask the contractor about which products will be installed.
Who do I call if I have to cancel or reschedule an assessment appointment?
Please contact the contractor we assigned to you directly if you need to cancel or reschedule a contractor visit. You will work directly with the contractor to schedule all visits for home assessment and product installation.
What if the contractor accidentally causes damage in my home?
Please call the energySMART team at 877.866.4239 immediately to address all of your concerns.
Who do I contact if I have a complaint or problem?
The energySMART team will be available to answer any questions and address any complaints. They can be reached at 877.866.4239.
If I decline weatherization, will I be denied assistance in the future?
No, declining weatherization services will not affect eligibility for other energy assistance or energySMART offerings.
Why can’t I find this information/link on the nicorgasrebates.com page?
Because this is a limited time offering, we are asking that customers visit nicorgasrebates.com/weatherization directly for further information and materials.
Landlord question: How did my tenant qualify, and will my other properties qualify?
Some Nicor Gas customers have been selected to participate in free weatherization. Your other properties will not qualify unless the tenant was selected to participate. Please further discuss the details of qualification with your tenant.