Government grants are available to help with the cost of installing new windows if your current windows are cracked, broken, leaking, old or inefficient. The majority of grants are available to make your home more energy efficient. You won't qualify for a government grant if you simply want to replace windows for cosmetic reasons. Federal agencies provide funding to state and local agencies, which award the grants to people in need.
Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program is available in every state. Although the U.S. Department of Energy doesn't provide weatherization services directly, it sets the general eligibility requirements. Under DOE guidelines, your household automatically is eligible for the Weatherization Assistance Program if you're receiving Supplemental Security Income or Aid to Families with Dependent Children. States may choose to give preference to households with:
- Adults over age 60
- Disabled family members
States work with local weatherization agencies -- generally nonprofit organizations that hire energy professionals to assess your needs. All repairs and improvements are energy-related and designed to make your home more energy efficient. Services can include replacing broken, cracked or old windows. According to the DOE, the services provided average about $6,500 per home, but are provided of charge. You'll need to contact your state administrator to apply.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. LIHEAP is administered in every state, but program benefits vary. Although the basic goal is provide help with utilities, certain states also provide a weatherization service that offers services to lower energy bills. For example, in California the Weatherization Program is a LIHEAP component that provides basic weatherization services to low-income households. Contact your local LIHEAP office to see if they offer weatherization services.
Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants
The Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants program, also known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The home repair grants are only available to very low income homeowners age 62 or older who can't afford to repay a loan. At the time of publication, the maximum grant is $7,500. For all other homeowners, the assistance is in the form of a loan with a fixed 1 percent interest rate for a 20-year term. Check your eligibility at USDA.gov.
Your utility company may use government funding to run a program that can will replace your windows if that will make your home more energy efficient. For example, Pacific Gas and Electric Company runs the Energy Savings Assistance Program to offer energy saving improvements to qualifying customers free of charge. Contact your utility company or a local Community Action Agency for more details.