A blower door test is one of the many diagnostic features employed by our program to ensure the highest energy savings possible for those we serve.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Senator Rockefeller Visits Martinsburg Weatherization Site

~Under the Economic Recovery Package, more than 3,000 additional homes will be weatherized and up to 125 new jobs will be created~

Washington, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV visited the home of Martinsburg resident, David Babcock, on Friday, March 20, 2009. (Picture above is Senator Rockefeller talking to Eastern West Virginia CAA Weatherization Coordinator Bob Wagner.)

In September 2008, the Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency weatherized Babcock’s house - replacing his furnace, sealing his ductwork, and insulating his attic. Under the Economic Recovery Package, more than 3,000 additional homes will be weatherized and as many as 125 new jobs will be created.

“I was so thankful to be invited into David’s house to see the great work of the Eastern West Virginia Community Action Agency,” said Senator Rockefeller. “The weatherization program is making an impact in West Virginia, creating new jobs across the state while improving the energy efficiency of homes and reducing utility bills.”

West Virginia is estimated to receive $70 million, with $37.5 million for weatherization and $32.7 million for the State Energy Program. The program offers rebates to consumers for home energy audits and other energy savings improvements.

“It was an honor to show Mr. Babcock’s home to Senator Rockefeller, so he could see firsthand the good work we are doing to weatherize homes in West Virginia,” said Bob Wagner, the weatherization coordinator for Eastern West Virginia Community Action. “This money secured in the stimulus package will go toward helping people lower their energy costs, and create local jobs right here at home.”

“It was a real thrill to have Senator Rockefeller into my home to witness what the weatherization team can accomplish. This weatherization program has made a significant difference in my monthly bills—I save over 50% of the estimated utility costs. I hope people will reach out and take advantage of the program—it’s a good thing and it’s green,” said David Babcock, a Martinsburg resident who opened his home to Senator Rockefeller on Friday.


Community Action Agencies across West Virginia are accepting weatherization applications. The weatherization process includes: checking and repairing or replacing heating systems, insulating attics and sidewalls, sealing air leaks, weatherstripping and/or replacing door and windows, and insulating hot water heaters and pipes.

This program is free if you meet annual low income guidelines, and have not been weatherized since September 30, 1994.

Supplemental Social Security (SSI) income automatically qualifies. Income guidelines examples (annual gross income from all household income sources):

Persons in House Income NOT Exceeding

1 $21,660

2 $29,140

3 $36,620

4 $44,100

5 $51,580

6 $59,060

For a list of contacts for all of West Virginia’s Community Action Agencies, visit: http://wvcommunityactionpartnership.org/wvcapagencies.html.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stimulus Jobs Already Starting Before Money Arrives

March 23, 2009, By GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

BURIEN, Wash. – Federal stimulus checks haven’t arrived in Washington state yet, but some agencies aren’t waiting around. They’re already ramping up, and it’s having an economic effect.

A month ago, his Ben Uskoski’s contracting business was tanking and he had to make a decision.

"I was an electrician before I went out on my own so I said, ‘I can do electrical work,’” said Uskoski.

That proved to be the right decision because Michael Kim of Advance Energy Management just happened to need electricians -- a lot of them.

"Put an ad out on Craigslist and literally got bombarded with phone calls in the first couple of hours,” said Kim.

One of the first was Uskoski and the stimulus trigger was pulled.

Kim needed 23 electricians to weatherize a low income housing apartment complex in South King County. Usoski called everyone he knew and 23 electricians suddenly went from laid off to gainfully employed, installing new energy efficient light fixtures and bathroom fans in the sprawling complex.

That's when he gave Platt Electric down in Tacoma a call.

"He asked me if I was sitting down, then when this first came up and just the magnitude of the order was phenomenal,” said Doug Lind of Platt Electric.

Platt suddenly had enough demand during an economic downturn keep his workers busy and prevent any more layoffs.

It all started with a King County Housing Authority weatherization project that is funded by federal stimulus dollars that aren't expected until next month, but are already putting food some local tables.

But this is a very small example. It will be some time before we see how it plays out on a much grander national scale.

View video of this report here: http://www.king5.com/video/index.html?nvid=344809&shu=1

Friday, March 20, 2009

Changes to WAP due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Some significant changes to the weatherization program have been made due to recently enacted legislation:

Income Guidelines:
These have been increased from 150% 200% of the federal poverty level, as below:

Contiguous U.S. Grantees, by size of family unit:
1 - $21,660
2 - $29,140
3 - $36,620
4 - $44,100
5 - $51,580
6 - $59,060
7 - $66,540
8 - $74,020
Each additional member add: $7,480

For Alaska:
1 - $27,060
2 - $36,420
3 - $45,780
4 - $55,140
5 - $64,500
6 - $73,860
7 - $83,220
8 - $92,580
Each additional member add: $9,360

For Hawaii:
1 - $24,920
2 - $33,520
3 - $42,120
4 - $50,720
5 - $59,320
6 - $67,920
7 - $76,520
8 - $85,120
Each additional member add: $8,600

Cost Per Unit Average: The allowable DOE funds average to be used per home has been increased to $6,500 to accommodate the decreased ability to leverage funds due to the large increase in DOE funds.

Training and Technical Assistance: The percentage of funds available for training and technical assistance activities has been increased from 10% to 20%.

Re-Weatherization Date: The date for re-weatherization has been changed to September 30, 1994, in order to change the underlying law.

Prevailing Wage: Funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are subject to the requirements and reporting of prevailing wage regulations. It is unclear what this will entail at this time.

All of these changes, with the exception of Prevailing Wage, are applicable to all funds from Program Year 2009 and beyond.

We will continue to update you with any further clarifications or changes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We're back!

Hello all,

Sorry for the interruption in posting for the last few months. This was due to some personnel changes, and posting will resume.

There have been many updates to the program since the hiatus.

1) Continuing Resolution: Congress passed a Continuing Resolution on September 24, 2008 in order to avoid confrontations with President Bush over the FY 2009 Budget. The Resolution ran until March 6, 2009 and was extended to March 11, 2009. It provided $250 million in funding for the WAP.

2) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): This $787.2 billion economic stimulus package was signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009. The Act contains $5 billion in funding for the WAP, to be spent over a 3-year time frame.

3) FY 2009 Omnibus: The nine-bill $410 billion Omnibus Bill was signed into law on March 11, 2009. The Bill contains an additional $300 million for WAP.

More information and updates, as well as news regarding the implementation of the ARRA to follow.