March 21, 2018

Photo Courtesy of the Alaska Housing Finance Program

There are many different ways to get help with the cost of energy improvements and upgrades, including rebates, incentives, and programs. One national program that makes around 35,000 homes more energy efficient each year is the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program.

What is the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)?

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is a national program that makes homes more energy efficient, healthy, and safe through energy upgrades such as insulation and air sealing. WAP improvements and upgrades have helped low-income households save an average of $283 or more per year since the program began in 1976.

Each state has its own network of local community action agencies, nonprofit organizations, and local governments that provide WAP benefits through the national program. Therefore, eligibility for the program in each state may differ.

Who is eligible for WAP benefits?

Millions of families are eligible to receive weatherization benefits and might not know it! The main qualifier is income. Generally, to qualify, your income must fall below the 200% poverty level, or the following amounts:

*These numbers are just general estimates. Each state sets its own income guidelines for eligibility. Check with your state weatherization program for the most accurate guidelines.

Additionally, you are automatically eligible to receive weatherization benefits if you receive Supplemental Security Income or Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

How do I apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program?

Applying to receive weatherization benefits is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Locate your local weatherization agency. You might have to contact your state program, because their online listing of weatherization agencies could be out-of-date.
  2. Fill out an application that generally takes about 20 minutes to complete. Be sure to have on hand proof of your income from the previous year. Submit this application to the weatherization agency you located in Step One.
  3. Wait for approval of your eligibility to receive weatherization benefits. If approved, you will likely be placed on a waiting list. In most cases, states will give preference to: 
          □ People over 60 years old 
          □ Families with one or more members with a disability
          □ Families with children

Once your number is called, you’ll be well on your way to comfort, safety, health, and efficiency with a preliminary and comprehensive energy audit to determine the best plan of action to better your home for you and your family.

Contact your local weatherization agency for more information on program requirements in your specific area.

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