Information on the free Weatherization Assistance Program.
Energy conservation and free weatherization programs are available in the states listed below. The agencies that administer it near you can vary by county, and may be a local community action agency, human service organization, or department of social service office. The federal government program is offered for free to income qualified homeowners and in some cases a renter can also apply for weatherization.
The service was created primarily to help lower and moderate income households save money on their energy, utility, and heating bills. It can also help the country lower it dependency on various more traditional sources of fuel, such as it can save the amount of electricity used across the nation. On average, weatherization will reduce heating bills by almost 35% and the program will lower overall energy bills by about $400 per year. Savings amount will vary widely though. The program is funded by grants from the federal government.
Weatherization assistance programs are very successful. They have helped reduce the utility bills of millions of lower -income families and other families who are struggling. The savings also continue year after year as the home will be permanently enhanced. Many of the beneficiaries are senior citizens, households with children, or the disabled who often need help with paying their monthly energy bills.
The program does not provide cash grants or direct aid. Rather, weatherization reduces the homeowners dependency on heat and electrical usage. It will also free up the money usually spent on energy bills so that families can spend their income on other, more pressing family issues and needs, such as their rent, mortgage payments, food, or medical bills.
What types of improvements are included from weatherization
Funds received from weatherization assistance can be used to pay for a variety of energy saving updates to the clients home. For example, government grants could be used to pay for improvements such as the installation of additional attic or floor insulation, furnace repairs, space heaters, door and window seals, thresholds, weather-stripping, glazing, new hot water heaters, air conditioners, and more.
In some cases, minor home repairs can be done, provided they somehow impact energy efficiency. No matter the type of improvement that is made to the clients home as the result of weatherization, at the end of the day the upgrades will save the client money on their heating and utility bills.
It has been proven that weatherization as well as the federally funded LHEAP assistance programs work. Almost 7 million lower income families have received help the programs over the last 20 years. The resource also has the additional benefit of reducing our nations energy dependency on foreign oil, stimulates growth of families as they now have cash to pay other bills, and it also improves the environment.
How to apply for weatherization near you
Most weatherization programs are administered by your state government in partnership with other non-profit organizations. A local community action agency will often have free applications on site, or they can refer the family as to where to apply. Social or Human service offices, or even a local utility company, are also a great place to learn more or get an application. Grant money to pay for the home improvements comes from the US Department of Energy, and then your state government provides the funding to your local community action agency.
If you want to learn more about the weatherization program, the income criteria in a certain county, or how to apply for the free weatherization assistance program in your area, contact a Community Action Agency near you. As noted, other places to contact for information include any other Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provider in your county or town. While there is often a waiting list, there are no costs to apply for weatherization.
If your state is not listed above, additional weatherization agencies to apply at can be found. Click here to find another list of local state financial aid programs, charities, community action agencies, government organizations, and other non-profit agencies.
Health and safety energy conservation improvements
Through the weatherization assistance program, contractors install energy efficiency measures in the homes of qualified homeowners free of charge. Not only will this work help the client save money on their utility and heating bills, but it also makes the property both safer and more comfortable to live in. No matter what work is done, the various improvements and upgrades installed are free to homeowners.
Some of the improvements can be extensive. For example, the average expenditure limit is $6,500 per home. If the residence is older and requires more updates, then even more money may be spent on the property. While the exact amount of energy bill savings experienced will vary, in general a homeowner can save about $300 to $400 per year on their annual heating, cooling and utility bills.
Many of the state weatherization programs can also repair or replace your furnace or primary heating unit. The contractor will make sure the system you use is safe and is also in good working order. They may even repair a water heater or other major appliances.
So a variety of health and safety issues are addressed as part of the this federal government created energy conservation program. Some of the work performed on your furnace may include repair, retrofit, cleaning and tuning of it, and also sometimes replacement of the entire furnace or heating unit is done. If there are still funds available in the weatherization budget, then this work is also done for free.