What is Total Energy Pathways (TEP)?

Total Energy Pathways (TEP) provides a comprehensive, bundled approach to building energy upgrades while also offering customers the opportunity to finance the energy improvements with the resulting energy savings. 

TEP promotes residential projects that incorporate air sealing and insulation, highly efficient and renewably-powered mechanical systems (e.g., heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, advanced wood heating systems), and solar photovoltaic electricity generation. By combining a customized, analytically-based approach with low-cost flexible financing products and an energy savings guarantee, the TEP tool allows certified contractors to move homeowners to 50-100 percent total energy savings. The TEP building retrofit approach is modeled on the successful Vermont Zero Energy Now Program (ZEN) described below.

TEP Program Features

Customers interested in reducing their energy use and carbon footprint are often faced with multiple sales pitches and numerous possible first steps. TEP simplifies this process by providing customers with one certified general contractor who manages the process between customers and subcontractors who have expertise in different energy technologies. Recommendations are informed by a comprehensive energy assessment that optimizes for the best mix of weatherization, heat pumps, solar PV, and other measures. TEP contractors connect customers with financing options and available incentives and rebates, effectively eliminating cost barriers facing otherwise strong candidates for efficiency upgrades.




Customers move their homes towards zero energy and use the savings to pay for low- or zero-interest financing

One general contractor designs the project package and guides homeowners through the process

The most comprehensive approach available to reduce residential energy bills and carbon emissions

ZEN as a Model for TEP

The TEP program is significantly informed by Zero Energy Now (ZEN), a building retrofit pilot in Vermont run by Building Performance Professionals Association (BPPA) in 2016 and 2017. ZEN was designed to meet Vermont’s unique building characteristics, energy savings opportunities, and available in-state incentives and financing products.


A study of the ZEN Pilot Program was completed in early 2020 and showed significant savings in money and energy usage. In many cases, savings of this caliber would have been enough to make the loan payments for the improvements.

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