October 30th is Weatherization Day and marks the 40th Anniversary that the Nebraska Energy Office has managed the Weatherization Assistance Program. The program provides weatherization assistance to low-income Nebraskans to improve the energy efficiency in their homes and reduce their energy burden. Since its beginning, the State of Nebraska has improved the energy efficiency in over 68,000 homes with nearly $200 million spent to assist low-income residents in Nebraska. Last year the Weatherization Assistance Program provided energy savings of 20 percent on homes with natural gas heating and 10 percent on homes with electric heating and cooling.
Typical weatherization improvements on homes are insulation in attics and walls, efficiency inspections on natural gas, electric and propane heating and cooling systems and water heaters, air leakage control to reduce the leakage of cold outside air into the house, improving health and safety, and client education. By looking at the whole house as an envelope, the weatherization service providers can reduce the energy burden, decrease energy use and increase the comfort of the home. The benefits continue for years after the weatherization improvements are added, often for 5, 10 or even 15 years. It is estimated that Nebraskans living in homes previously weatherized saved $4.5 million from lower utility bills in 2016.
The Weatherization Assistance Program Mission Statement is, “To reduce energy costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.”
The Weatherization Assistance Program benefits the community because it:
Nebraska currently has seven Community Action Partnership agencies that provide weatherization services in their region and covers every county in the state. For more information on the Weatherization Assistance Program, the Community Action Partnership agencies and where to apply please check out the Nebraska Energy Office website and click on the link to “Home Weatherization” .