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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vice President Biden on The Daily Show Defending Recovery Act Reporting

Yesterday, Vice President Biden went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to defend the reporting and performance of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With the Weatherization Assistance Program so much in the spotlight and jobs such a focus, this exchange was interesting and it was encouraging to see the administration stand up for its investments. Please take a moment to view below.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Joe Biden Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weatherization in the News and NASCSP Response

You may have seen the Washington Post article from November 7th, "Painting a street green hasn't stimulated one new job"

While the article brings up valid points about the Weatherization Assistance Program, NASCSP has written a response, which can be seen below.

November 9, 2009

Dear Mr. MacGillis:

I read with great interest your article from November 7, 2009 titled “Painting a street green hasn’t stimulated one new job.” I am the Director of Weatherization Services for the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). NASCSP is an organization that provides many functions for State Weatherization Assistance Program managers, including maintaining a comprehensive program website (www.waptac.org) , communicating with and representing members on programmatic issues, and facilitating the exchange of programmatic and residential energy efficiency best practices.

Both state and local Weatherization Program managers are frustrated that the ramp up of the Recovery Act-funded Weatherization Program has not gone exactly as planned, but we are confident that we have overcome most obstacles have and now see a rapid increase in new jobs and units weatherized with the ARRA funds.

The major obstacle that faced Weatherization Program operators was the ARRA requirement that prevailing Davis Bacon-mandated wages had to be paid to all laborers performing work. Until passage of the Recovery Act, the Weatherization Program was exempt from Davis Bacon requirements.

The new Davis Bacon requirement stalled the hiring of new workers in the following ways:

• The Department of Labor did not determine that that Davis Bacon prevailing wages would in fact apply to the Weatherization Assistance Program, and that past waivers would not be valid until June 1, 2009;
• In early July, the Department of Labor determined that a new worker classification and new wage determination would be made for residential weatherization worker since none of the existing classifications were deemed appropriate for the scope of work performed by the program workers;
• The Department of Labor conducted surveys of all Weatherization Program providers and made new wage determinations for the new classification of Weatherization Worker for all counties in the United States, which was completed by the end of August;
• The Department of Energy had to develop specific contract language relating to Davis Bacon requirements for all Weatherization Program contracts;
• Payroll systems had to be revised to be weekly payrolls (most were every two weeks or bimonthly) to conform to Davis Bacon requirements.

Weatherization Program managers are well aware of the increased scrutiny inherent with Recovery Act funds, and are working diligently to insure both proper accountability and transparency. While there is a great need and pressure to move quickly, there is also a sense of caution to make sure that funds are spent wisely and there are no future audit questions. Now that the major obstacles, such as the Davis Bacon requirements, have been worked out, we expect the Weatherization Program to be back on target towards meeting Recovery Act objectives in the very near future.

I would be happy to provide you with any additional information and serve as a future resource to you for information concerning the Weatherization Assistance Program.


Bob Scott
Director of Weatherization Services
National Association for State Community Services Programs

Monday, November 2, 2009

Steven Chu: Weatherization: Saving Money by Saving Energy

Energy Secretary Steven Chu posted a positive story on Weatherization and Weatherization Day on the Huffington Post. Read it here

Dr. Steven Chu, distinguished scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997), was appointed by President Obama as the 12th Secretary of Energy and sworn into office on January 21, 2009.

Dr. Chu has devoted his recent scientific career to the search for new solutions to our energy challenges and stopping global climate change – a mission he continues with even greater urgency as Secretary of Energy. He is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

In announcing Dr. Chu’s selection on December 15, 2008, President Obama said, “the future of our economy and national security is inextricably linked to one challenge: energy… Steven has blazed new trails as a scientist, teacher, and administrator, and has recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies. He is uniquely suited to be our next Secretary of Energy as we make this pursuit a guiding purpose of the Department of Energy, as well as a national mission.”

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-chu

Weatherization Day 2009 Gets a Boost from Federal Stimulus Money


October 30, 2009

Contact: Rebecca Stewart

rstewart@nascsp.org ▪ 202.624.7887

Weatherization Day 2009 Gets a Boost from Federal Stimulus Money

Since 1976, The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has been making homes of low-income families more energy efficient. To highlight the efforts across the country, Weatherization Day is celebrated every October 30. This year the program received a substantial boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

One state leading the way in weatherization is Ohio, which plans to use the $266.8 million ARRA WAP grant to increase the energy efficiency of more than 32,000 homes. In July alone Ohio weatherized 951 homes, providing such services as adding insulation, sealing leaks, and modernizing heating and cooling equipment. With ARRA funding through March 2012, Ohio estimates it will create 590 new jobs and retain 487.

In New Mexico, it is estimated that at least 2,300 homes will be weatherized every year for the next 3 years using the state’s $26 million ARRA WAP funds. Weatherization saves an average of 32% in gas space heating.

In recognition of National Weatherization Day, Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu for Recovery Act Implementation, recorded the following video: http://vimeo.com/7314879. In addition to encouraging all Americans to install energy efficiency measures in their own homes, he emphasizes the energy and cost benefits of improved energy efficiency and he expresses appreciation to the nation's weatherization network for its past accomplishments and its continued commitment to serving low-income citizens. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Weatherization Assistance Program will continue to grow and deliver results for American families across the country.

WAP was awarded $5 billion through the 2009 ARRA. To participate, homeowners must have a maximum income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and can use up to $6,500 for energy efficiency upgrades to their home.

The Weatherization Assistance Program is operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes, and U.S. Territories. Funds are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes using the most advanced technologies and testing. Since the inception of the WAP, over 6.2 million homes have been weatherized with DOE funds.

For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, visit www.waptac.org or www.eere.doe.gov.