The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps lower-income households decrease their utility bills and increase energy efficiency. For qualifying recipients, the program pays for an energy audit and weatherization energy efficiency solutions like air sealing, furnace repair/replacement, weather-stripping, and wall and attic insulation. This program is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy and a portion of the Low-Income Home Assistance Energy Program (LIHEAP).
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce administers the WAP for the State of Oklahoma. Using funding from the Department of Energy and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, the program focuses on improving the energy efficiency of lower-income households with priority given to the elderly, disabled, and families with children. Oklahoma weatherizes approximately 200-250 homes per year.
This year, WAP marks 44 years of serving low-income families nationwide. In 1976, President Gerald Ford signed the Energy Conservation and Production Act which gave the Federal Energy Administration (now the Department of Energy) the right to establish a weatherization program to “increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improve their health and safety, especially low-income persons who are particularly vulnerable such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, high residential energy users, and households with high energy burden.” Today, the program has served more than 7 million families in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and three Native American tribes.
By decreasing the amount of income spent on home energy, weatherization stimulates economic growth by providing increased spending power for families. The average savings per family from the program is $283 per year. For every $1 invested in a home through WAP, the household sees a savings of $1.40. WAP reduces approximately 18% in a home’s average natural gas consumption and 7% in a home’s electricity.
In addition to helping lower-income households, the benefits of weatherization helps Oklahoma communities. When factoring in health and safety benefits, every dollar invested in weatherization returns $4.50 to the community. WAP supports at least 8,500 skilled and dedicated jobs and thousands more in related industries.
Eligible applicants are low-income (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level) individuals and priority is given to the elderly, handicapped and families with children.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce contracts with Community Action Agencies throughout the state to provide services based on a client’s county of residence. To find your local agency to apply for services, visit our website. For questions about the program administration, contact Amanda Marcott-Thottunkal at 405-815-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.