Along with many other programs funded by the Economic Stimulus Plan, one of the highly forgotten about programs is the Home Weatherization Assistance Program. Originally designed to help lower income families who fell below the federal poverty level of $44,000 for a family of four, the stimulus money has injected more than $4 Billion dollars, or 10x the amount funded last year, to weatherize and make homes more efficient.
An obscure program that installs insulation in homes and makes them more energy-efficient is distributing $4.7 billion in stimulus funds — dwarfing the $447 million originally planned by Congress this year and the $227 million spent in 2008.
What Does the Weatherization Program Cover?
Almost ANY home improvement that will increase the overall energy efficiency of your home! This can include:
- HVAC replacement of older systems that use alot of energy (Not even required to be broken)
- New Energy efficient windows
- Sealing of the house envelope
- Duct replacement and insulation
- Home insulation replacement or upgrading
- Energy efficient light bulbs
- Tankless and high efficiency water heaters
Several years ago (6-7) my sister in Massachusettes applied to the program up there. Her home is a 90 year old colonial, and she had recently divorced with two children.
The state of Mass came in and performed an energy audit, then did the following, AT NO CHARGE:
- Put new insulation and siding on her home
- New attic insulation
- Foam insulation drilled and blown into the conrete block foundation
- High efficiency Gas Furnace (No AC replacement, as it wasnt required to live)
- New Double-Pane windows
- Gave her CASES of new light bulbs
- Several new light fixtures.
The bottom line… you don't know what you qualify for if you don't ask!
Who Can Get Weatherization Help?
Most states have maintained a list of applicants over the years, but according to thew article from Google News, States are scrambling to get more applicants, in order to spend the money, make homes more efficient, and put more people to work at the local level!
In North Carolina, if you meet 150% of the federal poverty level, you now qualify! That's a huge number and instantly qualifies more than 70% of the entire statewide population.
How to Qualify?
In order to see if you qualify, you have to go to your own States department of health or economic services, and find the Weatherization Assistance Program for your specific state. The way I located it in NC was to use the new Bing.com search engine, and searched for NC Weatherization Program. I will add a map to this post before the day is up, linking to every state agency.
Who to Contact?
Click the link below that represents your own state. The resulting page will tell you how to apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
District of Columbia