Weatherization Assistance Program
The Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (Weatherization) is the nation’s core program for delivering energy efficiency services to low-income households. Every year, Weatherization generates significant benefits for low-income families and communities across the nation. Weatherization measures create average annual cost savings of at least $413 per home, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an average of one ton per weatherized house. Weatherization alleviates the high-energy burden faced by low-income Americans, enabling them to gain increased financial independence.
Mission statement: To reduce heating and cooling costs for the low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.
What it is: WAP is a local-state-federal program. It was developed as a national program by the Federal Department of Energy (DOE) in 1976 in response to the oil shortage, to help states and communities help those of low and moderate income have more energy-efficient, safe and healthy homes. It is the nation’s largest residential energy-efficiency program.
What it does: Weatherization does computerized energy audits and uses advanced diagnostic technology to determine the energy-conservation needs of a house, providing among other improvements: weather stripping of doors and windows; caulking and sealing of cracks and holes; insulating of attics, walls and floors; installing of storm windows, energy-saving light bulbs, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; repairing and retrofitting of furnaces, and replacing of energy-wasting refrigerators and electric water heaters.
How it works. In Arkansas, it’s administered by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission—Arkansas Energy Office (AEO) and operated by private, nonprofit community action agencies, and other non-profits. The agencies do the work themselves, or hire contractors to do it, and AEO’s weatherization staff monitors the work.
How it is funded. The budget is made up of funds from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Who it is for: The work is free of charge for those who meet income guidelines. (Guidelines are listed below)
The benefits: The program helps individuals and families have better lives and gain strength in their effort to advance. It makes their homes more secure from weather, which helps them conserve energy and have more income for other basic necessities, including food, medicine, clothing, transportation – DOE estimates it reduces heating bills by 31 percent. It also contributes to the betterment of communities by creating jobs, generating the purchase of goods and services, strengthening housing stock, reducing homelessness, stabilizing neighborhoods and eliminating carbon emissions and the risk of fires.
Definition of household income: Refers to total cash receipts before taxes from all sources. Money, wages and salaries before any deductions; regular payments from Social Security, retirement from all sources, unemployment compensation, strike benefits from union funds, worker’s compensation, veteran’s payments, training stipends, alimony and military family allotments; private pensions, government employee pensions (including military retirement pay), and regular insurance or annuity payment; dividends, interest, net rental income, net royalties, periodic receipts from estates or trusts, and net gambling or lottery winnings.
Proof of income includes copies of payroll checks or check stubs, statement from employer, statement from Employment Office, statement from Social Security Administration or a statement from anyone who is assisting with monthly household bills or other support. If unemployed, a statement from Employment Office with benefit amount or showing you do not have an open claim.
Renters: The landlord must complete a Lessor Agreement. Applicant must complete a Tenant’s rights form. These forms are available from the agency or by clicking here: Lessor Agreement
Arkansas Weatherization Facts
As it relates to cost saving, 27-percent surveyed respondents (who participated in the Arkansas Weatherization Assistance Program) stated they saw a reduction in their energy bills. This means an average annual savings of $136 for electricity and $986 for natural gas.
A total annual Arkansas energy savings for program participants from PY 2009-2010 was $2,409,458.
Of the life of the measures (20 years), it is expected that the weatherization measures will save the recipients a total of $47,438,465 or about $1.94 for every $1 invested.
The average annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions saving for each house in the program for PY 2009-2010 for Arkansas was 3,305 pounds of reduced emissions due to reduction in electricity use, and 12,719 pounds of reduced CO2 emissions due to the reduction in natural gas use. This means that program participants reduced their total annual CO2 emission by 16,826 metric tons.
According to DOE the program contributes to:
Generating the purchase of goods and services,
Strengthening housing stock,
Reducing homelessness, and
Eliminating carbon emissions and the risk of fires.
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Do I have to own my own home to qualify for services?
You do not have to own your own home to qualify. You may qualify whether you own or rent, live in a single family home, duplex or in a mobile home.
Do I have to be a certain age or meet an income guideline to qualify?
While preference is given to persons over 60, persons with disabilities and in some cases, children; if you or anyone in the household receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you are automatically eligible. You may also be eligible for assistance if your income meets the following federally established income guidelines:
Family Size….Maximum Gross Annual Income