Weatherization Assistance Program Implementation & Renovation

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was created in 1976 to help low-income families invest in energy efficiency. DOE provides weatherization grants to state, territories and some Indian tribes to help improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes. In turn, the grantees contract with local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide the weatherization services. Since its inception, more than seven million homes have been weatherized, with an energy savings average of 35% of consumption for the typical low-income household.

Multifamily Housing is an Underserved Market for
the Weatherization Assistance Program

Historically, MF housing has not been a major recipient of WAP funding. According to a 2014 study by Oak Ridge National Labs, less than 20% of WAP services were provided to MF buildings (i.e., five or more units). In regions considered “moderate climate zones”, only about 8% percent of homes served were in MF buildings.[1]
WAP implementers tends to focus on single-family (SF) homes because working with MFAH properties is technically difficult and financially more complex. Few WAP implementers have the experience and capability to deliver the energy modeling required by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to approve a MFAH project or to leverage various sources of financing to meet the cost-share requirements of WAP to conduct deep retrofits at MFAH properties. In comparison, serving SF homes is simple: WAP pays for everything. ICAST focuses exclusively on MF housing and has a successful record of implementing EERE and health and safety (H&S) upgrades that meet WAP guidelines.

How ICAST Utilizes Weatherization Assistance Program
Funding to Greater Impact

ICAST utilizes WAP is to provide high quality, cost-effective, weatherization services to income qualified multifamily households. ICAST educates multifamily owners about the benefits WAP and recruits them to install energy and weatherization upgrades on their properties that will reduce utility costs and improve the comfort, health, and safety of low-income families, seniors and disabled tenants.
ICAST utilizes its innovative “one-stop shop” (OSS) approach for implementing green upgrades in multifamily properties. The OSS approach provides comprehensive services to MFproperties including: education and training on the benefits of green upgrades; energy audits with tailored cost and saving estimates; design specifications for contractor bids; assistance with selection and installation of green upgrades; guidance on project financing, including utility rebates and various government incentives; resident engagement and education programs to maximize benefits of the upgrades; and other service(s) needed to make the MFAH property operate efficiently. ICAST’s OSS approach is designed to facilitate enrollment while making green upgrades simple and hassle free to implement for MFAH owners/managers. ICAST has a long history of successfully administering various programs including WAP using its OSS model.

ICAST Success Stories

Weatherization Assistance Program Project
Belen Vista-Albuquerque, NM

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56 unit low-income household property
Total Project Cost: ~$277,538
Electrical Incentives from Utilities: ~$10,072
Gas Incentives from Utilities: ~$80,549
Project Payback: ~8 Years
Carbon Saved Annually: ~83 Tons

These savings were generated by replacing all showerheads and aerators with new lowflow equipment, new Energy Star refigerators in 15 units, weatherstripping, Smart Thermostats, updated ventilation, and LED bulbs.

ICAST WAP in New Mexico

In 2014, ICAST partnered with the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) to introduce a new statewide WAP program to serve MFAH properties. Until then, New Mexico’s program had mainly served single-family homes.

MFA contracted ICAST as its statewide WAP agency to directly serve the MF market using its One-Stop-Shop approach and renewed the contract for a three-year period in 2019 (2019-2022).

Compared to the other state Weatherization Assistance Program agencies, ICAST has been able to deliver its WAP services at a third of the cost because it leverages financing and utility rebates to supplement WAP funding.