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November 9, 2021
We all know that home improvements can bring a sense of joy, accomplishment, and peace. This is especially true of energy updates. A more efficient home can lower costs, improve indoor air quality, allow us to use rooms that were previously too cold or hot in certain seasons, even improve our brain function when we work or study at home.
Everyone wants a healthful, pleasant home, and the costs of efficiency upgrades are modest compared to the benefits, which are immediate and long lasting.
Unfortunately such upgrades are often out of reach for people living on low incomes. But did you know that a highly effective
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 to “increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improve their health and safety.” Examples of home efficiency services provided by WAP include attic insulation, weather stripping, minor housing repairs, service and repair to heating and cooling systems, and related energy conservation measures. program has helped those living on less experience improved health, comfort, and affordability at home for 45 years?
Forty-five years have passed, but Weatherization Assistance Program continues to provide cost-effective energy efficiency savings to low-income Americans. It also improves health and safety, supports a robust national workforce, utilizes cutting edge technology, and leads the nation in expectations for training and credentialing of energy efficiency workers.
Inefficient homes leak energy. People living on low incomes must spend a disproportionate amount on utilities; on average they spend 16% of their income, versus 3% for others. Much of what they spend is simply lost through unsealed windows, air leakage, and thin insulation. Efficiency upgrades eliminate this waste. Money previously spent on sky-high utilities can go toward food, medicine, education, transportation, or professional development training. People who receive Weatherization Assistance Program services experience immediate, long-lasting benefits to their economic wellbeing.
But there's more! Weatherization also significantly improves health while reducing medical costs. WAP clients experience less hypertension, reduced asthma symptoms, fewer trips to the emergency room, fewer sick days at work and school, improvements in respiratory illness, fewer hospitalizations, and better mental health after their homes are improved.
All of society benefits when vulnerable people stay well. Chronic health problems are managed less expensively. People can advance economically when they are able to do well in work and school. Fewer people die or need emergency medical services caused by living in extreme heat and cold, and there are fewer deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning and fire when people don't need to use unsafe heating strategies to stay warm. The costs of emergency services and medical treatment, which are absorbed by society when vulnerable people are in crisis, drops. Expenses go down and quality of life goes up -- for everyone!
Weatherization spending is smart spending. Every dollar spent on weatherization has been shown to bring $4.10 in benefits for recipients, and it's great for our planet, too; WAP has prevented the release of 2,246,000 metric tons of carbon emissions!
The program is carefully monitored for quality and effectiveness. Weatherization Assistance Program is a standout example of carefully stewarded public investment in the common good. We're proud to voice our support for the Weatherization Assistance Program and the innovative, dedicated professionals who make a difference in the lives of so many people. Thank you all!