Weatherization Assistance Programs.
Energy conservation and weatherization programs are available in states. The agencies that administer it can vary by county, and may be a local community action agency, human service organization, or department of social service office. The 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. 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. 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, and more. In some cases, minor home repairs can be done. No matter the type of improvement that is made to the clients home, 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 do I apply for weatherization?
Most weatherization programs are administered by your state government in partnership with other non-profit organizations. A local community action agency will often have applications on site, or they can refer the family as to where to apply. 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. 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.