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Office of Community Action Programs

WAP (Weatherization Assistance Program)

Introduction
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a federally funded grant program facilitated through grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and administered by the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHFA). The program was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency.

In accordance with the legal mandate to meet the social service needs of Louisiana’s citizens, LHFA receives the grant funds and, through contractual agreement, provides the funds to local non-profit agencies or local governments. These agencies deliver Weatherization services to eligible low-income households within their service delivery area. Dwelling units occupied by children, elderly, and handicapped are given priority in ranking households of Weatherization services.

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was designed to reduce the energy consumption of low-income households, making utility bills more affordable. It does this by making free energy-efficiency improvements for income-eligible households. Services may include attic, wall, blower-door testing for air leakages and heating system repairs or replacements. The program also identifies and repairs health, safety and comfort-related problems common in older homes often occupied by low-income families. These improvements are made with specialized diagnostic equipment during energy audits. Of equal importance is the program’s success is individualized client education.

Program Goals
The primary goals or the Weatherization Assistance Program are:

  1. To reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and imported oil.
  2. To reduce the impact of higher fuel costs.
  3. To improve the comfort level and reduce energy costs of low-income families by insulating, caulking and sealing the households, giving priority to dwellings occupied by children, elderly or handicapped individuals.

Other Weatherization Program Facts

  • Since the inception of the WAP, over 5.6 million homes have been weatherized with DOE funds. This year, an estimated 94,450 homes nationwide will be weatherized with DOE funds.
  • An average of 30.5 million MBtu of energy is saved as a result of weatherization. This equates to a 23% reduction in primary heating fuel use.
  • Low income families will save an average of $358 in reduced first-year energy costs, at current prices.
  • Taken together, for every $1 invested in the Program, Weatherization returns $2.69 in energy and non-energy related benefits.
  • Weatherization creates 52 direct jobs and 23 indirect jobs for every $1 million invested.
  • Weatherization measures reduce national energy demand by the equivalent of 18 million barrels of oil per year.
  • Weatherization saves an average of 30.8% in gas space heating. This comprises a total fuel consumption reduction of 21.9%. Net savings for each home weatherized average 29.1 MBtu/year.
  • Reducing energy demand decreases the environmental impacts of energy production. Weatherization mitigates approximately .23 metric tons of carbon per year in a home heated primarily with natural gas. This translates into nearly one metric ton (.85) of carbon dioxide emissions avoided. For homes heated by electricity, the savings are even higher: weatherization reduces .475 metric tons of carbon annually. Weatherization also reduces emissions of methane and nitrous oxide.
  • Weatherization creates non-energy benefits as well, including the following quantifiable benefits: increased property value, reduced incidence of fire, reduced arrearages, federal taxes generated from employment, income generated from indirect employment, avoided costs of unemployment benefits, environmental externalities.
  • Additional benefits that are difficult to quantify include: improved health and safety conditions, increased comfort for the occupants, reduction in homelessness and mobility, and extended lifetime of affordable housing.

For more information on our Weatherization Assistance Program, click HERE to download the brochure or contact Priscilla Adams at (985) 537-7603 or toll free at 1-800-794-3160.

 

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