Improper insulation of a home can cause extreme energy loss and increase utility bills throughout the year. Properly weatherizing a home helps save homeowners up to 28 percent on their energy bills, resulting in hundreds of extra dollars per year to the homeowner.
The Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) is a free energy efficiency program designed to help income-eligible families decrease costs and make their homes safer and more energy efficient.
“In addition to the money saved, weatherization reduces a home’s energy needs and makes the fossil fuel combustion devices in the homes more efficient,” said Craig Idle, Director of Weatherization for the Community Action Partnership of the Greater Dayton Area. “That reduces electricity demand, which in turn reduces the energy burden on the home, most of which comes from heating and cooling.”
After a home is determined to be eligible for weatherization services, a representative performs an energy audit. This includes inspections of the heating unit, gas stove and water tank to determine what energy savings measures may be done on the home.
Services that may be provided include:
• insulation of attics, sidewalls, floors and foundation perimeter;
• sealing of heating ducts;
• weather stripping;
• tune-up or repair of heating systems of furnace upgrades as necessary;
• any other measures to reduce air leakage.
Households with income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines may qualify for the program. This is an income of $48,500 for a family of four. Households who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or households that receive benefits from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) or the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus (PIPP Plus) may also qualify.
Persons who rent may receive services with the approval of the homeowner. Single and multi-family units, including Section 8 residents may also qualify. Households that use all types of energy sources, including natural gas, electricity and propane oil may qualify.
“Our weatherization program also stimulates the economy,” adds Idle. “Along with the full-time workers we’ve hired, our program buys vehicles, insulation supplies, furnaces, water heaters and other equipment. Many, many people benefit from this program.”
For more information or to apply for the program in Auglaize and Mercer Counties, contact the Lima/Allen Council on Community Affairs at (419) 227-2786 or call toll free 800-617-2673.