The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a national program that began in 1976 as a response to the 1973 oil embargo to help low-income households cope with rising fuel costs. The goals of the program are energy conservation and healthier living conditions for low-income residents who either own or rent their homes. Local non-profit agencies such as SEVCA deliver no-cost weatherization services to eligible residents. The national program supports nearly 25,000 direct and indirect jobs within related industries.
SEVCA Weatherization provides such services as state-of-the-art energy audits, insulation and air sealing, heating system improvements, and other energy-saving measures, all at no cost to residents who meet the income guidelines. A certified energy auditor visits the home to complete a thorough analysis of its energy efficiency and prescribe appropriate cost-effective measures. Then a team of our highly trained technicians is scheduled to make the needed improvements. Once all of the work is complete, a Quality Control Inspector ensures that everything was done properly and is of the highest quality.
The Weatherization improvements to the home result in increased energy efficiency and decreased fuel costs (for both heating and cooling), enhanced indoor air quality, improved health and safety, and a higher comfort level. These improvements increase the livability and value of the home, and last for many years to come. Higher-income households can receive the same services at a reasonable rate through our ‘BEST’ fee-for-service program.
Net savings for each home weatherized average 30.5 MBTUs/year. This equates to a 23% reduction in primary heating fuel use. Alleviating the heavy energy burden on low-income households reduces their expenditures and helps them to become more self-sufficient. The measures installed provide long-term relief for these families and protect against future fluctuations in energy prices and supplies.
A cost-effective investment of taxpayer dollars, for every $1 invested in the weatherization program, $1.65 in energy-related benefits are returned. Non-energy related benefits include improvement of air quality, avoidance of emission of greenhouse gases, reduced risk of fires, decreased homelessness, and much more.
Weatherization reduces the nation’s dependence on foreign oil imports and plays an important role in the nation’s energy security. The program reduces national energy demand by the equivalent of 18 million gallons a year.