Save Big On Utilities With This Incredible Weatherization Program
(DailyDig.com) – Getting an electric bill in the peak cooling and heating seasons can be a budget-testing experience for most American households. However, there is a possibility one can save on utilities with the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
WAP helps low-income families reduce their heating and cooling costs by improving energy efficiency while also ensuring people’s health and safety. Read on to learn more about the Weatherization Assistance Program, who qualifies, and how one can apply for the program.
The Weatherization Assistance Program and What It Pays For
The Weatherization Assistance Program is the nation’s single largest residential home energy efficiency program under the United States Department of Energy (DOE). It was established to increase energy efficiency for low-income, particularly vulnerable persons.
The program helps vulnerable or low-income households reduce their energy costs by providing home energy-efficiency services and improving health and safety standards. It supports 8,500 jobs and provides services to about 35,000 homes yearly using the U.S. Department of Energy funds.
According to the National Evaluation of the WAP, low-income households save approximately $372 yearly through weatherization upgrades and improvements. Besides helping vulnerable or low-income households, the program also helps revitalize communities by reducing environmental impact and spurring economic growth.
Who Qualifies for the Weatherization Assistance Program?
WAP helps eligible households save on utilities. But what makes one eligible for the program? The weatherization assistance program is available for:
- Households with a member that’s eligible for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or Fuel Assistance
- Households with a member that receives TAFDC or SSI public assistance
- Tenants and homeowners with their respective landlord’s permission
Eligibility for the Weatherization Assistance Program is based on the maximum gross annual income at or below 60% of the estimated state median income. The program is available to both renters and homeowners, but priority is given to seniors, persons with disabilities, high-energy users, and families with children.
What Does the Weatherization Assistance Program Cater or Pay For?
The typical weatherization services offered by WAP include:
- Attic insulation
- Floor insulation
- Sidewall insulation
- Air sealing to decrease infiltration
- Pipe and duct insulation
- Energy-related repairs that are limited
- Thorough evaluation of the heating and cooling system
- Health and safety testing of all home combustion appliances
How to Apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program
Applying for WAP services requires several steps. Here’s how the process works:
Determine the Eligibility
One of the main factors affecting the WAP eligibility is income, and most states use the 60% of state median income criteria.
You’ll need to look up your specific state’s eligibility guidelines for WAP applications to know whether you’re eligible or not.
Identify the Local Weatherization Provider
The state, territorial, or tribal website provides a list of local organizations that provide weatherization services under their “how to apply” section. While some states provide an online application on their website, others guide you to a local provider.
Complete the Application
Once one identifies the local weatherization provider, they’ll contact them and complete the application process. The local provider will need proof of income for the previous year. For example, the social security payments. For more information on income eligibility, consult the HHS’ poverty guidelines.
Finally, prepare for the weatherization services. Anyone living in a rental must get permission from the landlord for the work to begin.
Quick Household/Lifestyle Tips To Keep Your Utilities Down
Are you waiting for weatherization services from the Weatherization Assistance Program? Incorporating the following quick energy-saving tips can help bring utilities down and reduce overall energy costs.
- Replace HVAC’s air filters
- Use optimal freezer and fridge temperatures
- Update old appliances
- Replace old light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs
- Take shorter showers
- Wash clothes with cold water, rather than hot water
- Insulate to reduce air leakage
According to the U.S Department of Energy, American residents collectively use about 22% of the country’s energy. Sadly, a lot of energy is wasted through inefficient heating and cooling systems, old appliances, and leaky ducts or windows. Home weatherization not only makes for a safer living environment, but may be just what you need to gain control of your utility expenses.
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