Image of home with impacts of insulation on heating and cooling

Energy Improvements on a Budget

Dear Sustainability Sam, 

I would like to make my home more efficient so that I am reducing my energy use and my overall carbon footprint, but my budget is tight. Are there any programs that you know of that could assist me with making improvements to achieve my goal? 




What a great question. So many of us are budget conscious while looking to make improvements to the efficiency of our homes while attempting to lower our carbon footprint and also our energy bills over time. There are several programs that can help mitigate the cost of updates and improvements. 

  • Centerpoint Energy is offering homeowners rebates for upgrading or replacing heating systems, thermostats, water heaters, fireplaces, and natural gas dryers. They also have a rebate of up to $1,100 available for customers looking to improve their energy efficiency by sealing attic air leaks and improving insulation who complete a qualifying project with an eligible installer. Learn more here
  • The Tangletown Neighborhood Association is offering an Energy Improvement Rebate Program which will be available until April of 2022. If you have a contractor install wall or attic insulation in your home located in Tangletown between now and April 2022, you can qualify for a rebate of up to $500. Learn more here! Tangletown Energy Improvement Rebate Program.
  • The Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) has 0% loans available to Minnesota homeowners to assist with making energy efficient improvements. Learn more here
  • Or if you want to do work yourself, sign up for an educational workshop on how to winterize your home offered by the non profit Rethos.

A couple of your neighbors have already taken advantage of these programs. Let’s hear about their experiences. 

Brian, Tangletown homeowner –

Living in an old house, you have a list of projects, and there are competing priorities for how to spend your money. We had taken advantage of the Home Energy Squad visit which was free at the time, and they identified that the lack of insulation in our attic was something like having a 2’ hole in the roof. Knowing that Tangletown Neighborhood Association was offering a rebate match to the Centerpoint rebate elevated the attic insulation as a priority. We were able to take advantage of a CEE energy efficiency loan with 0% interest and the loan allowed us to do other projects, including replacing our knob and tube electrical wiring. We have gone through 2 winters since doing the attic insulation work and have noticed a cost savings and increased comfort level in the upstairs. The rebate from Tangletown and the financing incentive from CEE made it worth it, too.

Ellen, Tangletown homeowner – 

Our attic space was extremely hot when the temperature was anywhere above 70 and extremely cold (in the winter). We definitely noticed a difference in the temperature up there, especially in the summer (the heat gets turned on in winter so kind of masks whatever benefit it would have once it gets too cold).  This year we also put in mini-splits to keep the temperature up there reasonable, and the combination of the insulation and the mini-splits (very efficient AC boxes) has made our energy use both lower than previous years compared to ourselves, and much better than we had been previously in comparison to our neighbors (we had been always much higher than our neighbors and now we’re lower than most). 


Hopefully, your neighbor’s testimonials and the information above will assist you with making a budget friendly decision about making your energy efficient home improvements!

-Sustainability Sam