Weatherization Assistance FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Weatherization Assistance Program.

What are the eligibility requirements for weatherization services?

Eligibility requirements for the weatherization program is 200% of the federal poverty level.

This program is not restricted to any age group, but prioritizes assistance to the disabled, elderly, and households with children under six years old, and those with the highest energy costs. Owners, as well as tenants, may qualify providing they meet income-eligibility guidelines.

What about middle income weatherization programs?

Weatherization services provided free of charge by the Community Action Agencies are only for low-income residents. Homeowners seeking these services may qualify for other tax credits and grants under different programs and with different contractors. Such programs are still under development.

What does weatherization really mean? What services are performed?

Weatherization saves energy in the home by repairing and improving the building. The goal is to increase your home's energy efficiency, safety, and comfort by eliminating drafts by weather-stripping or repairing broken exterior doors, patching small holes in walls and roofs (and repairing damaged windows), and performing minor furnace maintenance and repair, insulation in attic, walls, floor and perimeter, and insulating water heater pipes or furnace ducts.

What is the value of these services?

Each home has different problems that will be addressed by weatherization services. The average cost per unit is $6500.

Will my resale value or taxes increase after my home is weatherized?

In some cases resale value may increase depending on installed measures (i.e. windows, heating system, etc.). Taxes should not be affected.

Are there different products used for manufactured housing versus stick frame housing?

Yes. These types of homes are constructed very differently. The energy auditor will determine what services your home needs. And different construction will have different priority fixes. For example, insulation of mobile home floors use a different product than attic insulation.

Why is weatherization so important?

Weatherization services will seal up drafts to prevent the loss of heated or conditioned inside air to the outside and insulate your home, saving energy dollars, increasing your comfort, and making your home safer. Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be a big problem in some homes. The energy auditor will ensure that your appliances and heating system work efficiently and safely.

According to the Weatherization Assistance Program's Technical Assistance Center, "Combined savings for energy and non-energy benefits in 2008 show Weatherization returns at $2.72 for every $1 invested."

How long will the process take?

From the time of the audit, expect to hear back from the contractor or auditor within two weeks; depending on the services needed, allow 2 weeks before work begins. Allow 2-5 days for work to be completed, dependent on what needs to be done.

What do I have to do to my home to prepare for weatherization?

Make the attic and basement accessible, remove contents and clutter from those areas to allow workers access to the space. Your woodstove should be cold for the initial and follow up audit. Secure animals in a safe location. Some dust may be generated, the contractors will do their best to contain it.

Will the Community Action Agencies fix other things on my house at the same time?

Possibly, there are limits on repairs and various programs to address some additional problems. The auditor will determine the scope of the work and will inform you at that time. If you have additional questions, call your local Community Action Agency.

What problems with my home will delay me from receiving these services?

Major plumbing, electrical or structural deficiencies, major moisture problems - roof leaks and very wet basements all could slow down progress. The auditor will inform you if these problems will delay weatherization improvements. Problems with plumbing, electrical, the structure, or moisture may be worsened when the dynamics in your house change. In some cases, your project may be deferred or determined ineligible if any of these problems are significant enough and cannot be remedied to meet weatherization program standards.

Do I need to be home when this work is done?

You should be available for the initial audit. It is your choice if you want to be home during the work. An adult must be present if minors are home.

Will my fuel assistance drop if my home is weatherized?

The eligibility equation is based on income and estimated fuel use. If your fuel use drops significantly, then the assistance may drop. However, you will not be denied fuel assistance solely because your home has been weatherized.

Will I qualify for other programs if my home is weatherized?

Weatherization services will not disqualify you from other social service programs through the Community Action Agencies.

I received similar services from the Community Action Agency a few years ago, can I get more now?

If you received full weatherization services at your current address since September 1, 1994, you are not eligible for additional services. Work done since then should not need to be re-done. Any weatherization prior to that date may receive additional services. Call your local Community Action Agency for more details. If you received weatherization services from another agency, through a different program, or paid for it yourself, and your income falls within the guidelines, you may now be eligible for this weatherization program. If you recently received air-sealing services, you may qualify for full weatherization.

I just moved to this house, but it received weatherization services a few years ago. Will I qualify for additional services?

Call the Community Action Agency to answer this specific question about your home. Chances are that the CAAs have already addressed the upgrades to the home, and that under guidelines set forth by the Department of Energy, this property is not eligible for additional upgrades at this time.

If I don't qualify for the weatherization program, can I pay the Community Action Agency to do this work on my home?

This is specific to the Community Action Agency in your area and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

How do I know if a company the CAA hires to do these services is qualified?

All Weatherization contractors agree to perform services to standards set by the Department of Energy, the Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Community Action Agencies and receive training from the state and/or the Community Action Agency or qualified third party instruction. If you have a concern, please contact the Community Action Agency.

What if the weatherization teams do something that makes my home worse than it already is? Like mold?

In the unlikely situation that this happens, call your Community Action Agency immediately and explain the situation. Once your home has been reported as completed, weatherization cannot perform additional services or remedies.

If I decline weatherization, will I be denied fuel assistance in the future?

No. However, you will miss a great opportunity to save energy and make your home more comfortable.

If I decline fuel assistance, can I still get weatherization?

Yes, qualifying for fuel assistance and weatherization does not mean that you must accept fuel assistance benefits.

Are jobs available to do this work? How do I get trained?

Perhaps, call your local Community Action Agency. They will train as needed.

What are the core competencies or minimum expectations for contractors working in the Weatherization Program?

See the guidelines for safe work practices and core competencies and minimum expectations for installers, crew chiefs, contractors and HVAC installer/contractors.