Homeowners aren’t the only ones faced with expiring energy-efficiency tax credits this month.

The loss of federal funds for the Efficiency Maine program also hurts builders, insulation contractors, energy auditors, solar installers and building material suppliers — professionals who got a boost by the availability of federal stimulus money.

The weatherization tax credit is worth 30 percent of the cost of energy-efficiency heating systems, insulation, windows, doors and more. A household can receive a tax credit of up to $1,500 for energy-saving improvements. All improvements have to be in place by Dec. 31.

Curry Caputo, a Whitefield builder, said the loss of funding for the program will affect his business.

“It makes me reluctant to hire more people,” Caputo said Friday. “We hired nine people in the last nine months and could use three more with the current demand, but I can’t hire them now. It was a great thing for the economy. It was an incentive for people to do this work.”

Along with the tax credit’s expiring, Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program, a rebate program that offers incentives from $1,500 to $3,000 for retrofitting a house, runs out in 2011. Maine was awarded $9 million to create the Home Energy Savings Program.

Caputo said politics will likely intrude on what’s been a program that’s worked for him.

“(Gov.-elect Paul) LePage actually wants to send (stimulus) dollars back,” Caputo said. “If he does, it would put a screeching halt on the last incentive for homeowners to do the work, and force me to let people go. It’s a huge issue.”

Andy Meyer, program manager for Efficiency Maine, said while the end of federal funding isn’t necessarily good news, people still have time to take advantage of the program while it’s being funded.

“People need to work with a participating energy adviser first to do an energy audit, then they have to make enough investments to save at least 25 percent of their heating bill in order to qualify,” Meyer said. “Efficiencymaine.com has a free calculator to see whether or not the program will help you. The page also has an adviser locator. Just put in a ZIP code and you’ll find one in the area and it will tell the services they offer and how to contact them.”

Meyer said eligibility for the program is not based on income, and the work must be done by professionals, not homeowners.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, sent out a news release listing simple projects people can do before the deadline:

Replace worn weatherstripping to make sure doors have a tight seal to keep cold out.

Fill air holes and cracks with caulking or spray insulation to help battle air leaks.

Fill air gaps and insulate spaces between floor joists in the basement.

“The credit is still a great deal, and there are a number of simple fixes you can do yourself with materials covered by the credit,” Pingree said. “What you can do in a weekend with a can of spray foam and a few pieces of insulation might surprise you.”

Caputo said contractors were hoping that Congress would reallocate money for the tax credit program before the lame-duck session ends this year. “But I’m not banking on it,” he said.