The Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is the nation’s core program for delivering energy efficiency services to low-income households. The program’s goal is to reduce energy costs to low-income persons by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety. Nationwide, weatherization benefits low-income households and communities and generates an average energy cost savings of $300 per home each year. Professionally trained weatherization crews perform on-site home energy audits using state of the art equipment to identify outside drafts, inspect heating and cooling systems and perform health and safety checks. Weatherization crews install materials to make homes more energy efficient and make minor repairs to ensure safety. Once installed, the energy saving measures help to reduce heating and cooling costs for years to come.
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: A local-state-federal program, it was initiated by the federal Department of Energy (DOE)
in 1976 in response to the oil shortage, to help states and communities help those of low income have more energy-efficient, safe and healthy homes. It is the nation’s largest residential energy-efficiency program.
How it operates: In Arkansas, it is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services (OCS) and operated, primarily, by the private, nonprofit community action agencies. (Weatherization is one of scores of programs the community action agencies operate to help people of low income gain the basic necessities and strengthen economic self-sufficiency.)
What it does: It does computerized energy audits and uses advanced diagnostic technology to determine the energy conservation needs of a home, providing, among other improvements, weather stripping of doors and windows: caulking and sealing of cracks and holes: installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs, and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Each home differs in the energy conservation needs and recommendations.
Who it is for: The work is done free of charge for those who meet income guidelines.
How is it funded: DOE is the primary funder, for the nation. In Arkansas, OCS last year used $2 million it received from DOE and supplemented it with $1.8 million of the funds it gets from the federal Office of Community Services for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), improving 1,168 homes.
The program, since it was begun, has injected more than $91 million into communities throughout the state to improve 61,000 homes, affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, many of them elderly, disabled and children. (The program nationally, has improved the homes of 5.3 million individuals and families.)
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.
Issues: There is limited federal funding for the work – although the program improves more than 1,000 homes a year in the state, the homes of an estimated 178,000 people are eligible for the service, according to poverty figures.
The program nationally received $225 million in funds in the last year. Proposals for the next year range from $223 million to $237 million. According to a funding rule, if it is funded for more than $233 million next year the 11 states in the South would receive a greater share of the national funds, enabling them to serve many more in need.
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.
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 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 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|
How do I apply?
WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME DUE TO AN INFLUX OF APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
To apply for services or to get additional information on the Weatherization Assistance Program contact:Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council, inc.
Physical Location: 4831 Armour Avenue, Fort Smith, AR 72904
479-785-2303 ext. 111 or 110
or click here to download an application.-Weatherization application