West Virginia weatherization assistance program
Over twice the usual number of West Virginia families will benefit from the states weatherization assistance program this year. This program helps families save on their heating bills by adding insulation, filling and plugging leaks and also replacing or repairing heating units in homes. Last year, almost 1,500 West Virginia households received weatherization assistance and home repairs that were paid for by public weatherization funds.
This year, West Virginia is hoping to offer this aid and weatherize at least 2,700 homes. This huge increase is the result of additional funds that are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the federal stimulus plan that was signed into law by Obama.
The weatherization assistance program was created in the 1960s and it helps reduce heating bills and energy costs for lower income families by helping them conserve heat and improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Some of the improvements offered by the program include installing additional insulation, performing heating unit and cooling unit tune-ups, reducing air infiltration, plugging gaps in homes, and replacing heating units with safer, more energy-efficient, high tech models. The maximum that can be spent to improve a home is $7,500.
To apply for weatherization assistance, a family needs to contact one of 13 local community action agencies in West Virginia that are approved by and monitored by the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity.