The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program provides grants to states, territories, and some Indian tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families. These governments, in turn, contract with local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide weatherization services to those in need using the latest technologies for home energy upgrades. Since the program began in 1976, DOE has helped improve the lives of more than 7 million families by reducing their energy bills.
The overall goal of WAP is to reduce the burden of energy prices on the disadvantaged.
WAP’s metrics consist of the amount of funding provided to the states and the number of homes weatherized. Since the states manage their respective programs, the funding and number-of-homes metric reflects what is accomplished in the states.
The single most important metric is the number of homes weatherized, and reflects data collected from the states. Since many states operate on a different fiscal year and report at different time than DOE, these production data are reported on a “program year” that lags DOE’s fiscal year ending September 30.
What is Weatherization?
“Weatherization” as defined by the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) differs in many ways from what is commonly called “weatherizing your home.” The letter involves low-cost improvements like adding weatherstripping to doors and windows to save energy. These measures made up the services WAP provided in its early years and are likely responsible for the program’s name.
Today, WAP’s weatherization services consist of cost-effective energy efficiency measures for existing residential and multifamily housing with low-income residents. Under this definition, it includes a wide variety of energy efficiency measures that encompass the building envelope, its heating and cooling systems, its electrical system, and electricity consuming appliances.
The benefits of weatherization begins with reducing the energy bills of recipients for a long period of time. Some measures, such as insulating walls or roofs, for example, can provide savings for the lifetime of a house-30 years or more. Other measures, such as making heating or cooling equipment more efficient, will provide savings for 10-15 years. on average, the value of the weatherization improvements is 2.2 times greater than the cost.
WAP serves low-income families free of charge and limits the amount of money that can be spent on any single residence as determined by federal rules. (The average expenditure is $6,500.) As a result, only the most cost-effective measures are included in the upgrade of a particular home. This constant pressure for low-cost energy savings has become the trademark of weatherization and distinguishes it from the large home retrofit industry.
Another distinguishing feature of weatherization is attention to an all-around safety check. Many buildings receiving attention are old and in need of repair. Weatherization service providers check major energy systems to ensure occupant safety.
Weatherization today comprises a comprehensive series of energy efficiency measures that are based on sophisticated analyses of individual homes. These analyses take the whole-house approach, which maximizes energy an dollar savings. Because of this rigorous approach and analyses backing it up, weatherization has become a leader in advancing home energy science and in helping spawn a new industry home energy efficiency services to the wider public.
- Qualified persons 60 years or older
- Households with disabled family members
- Families with small children
- Families with high energy burden
- Total household income
- Application and Income Verification
- Approval Process
- Conducts full assessment
- Identify energy reduction measures
Installation of Measures
- Replace Inefficient Household Items
- Energy Conservation
- Final Inspection
- Closeout Client File
- Monthly VIEO
- Quarterly DOE
- Grant Closeout