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.
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.
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.
Weatherization Assistance Program Project
Belen Vista-Albuquerque, NM
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
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.
Client Intake and Termination
Client Intake: is to be performed in a timely manner with rigid documentation of all client interactions. Clients are to be informed of the ranking process, necessary documents and the approximate waiting period prior to weatherization. Clients may also be informed of possible eligibility for the baseload plus program. Consideration shall be taken into place when communicating with a client on how long the process may be. The client needs to be informed if updated information will be necessary prior to the commencement of work.
Clients Termination: shall be notified via mail that they do not qualify or are being terminated. The reason for termination or non-eligibility shall be stated in the letter. They will be notified of their right to protest and the steps involved. They will be required to request a re-evaluation in writing to the Executive Director. Within two weeks of receipt of the written request, the Executive Director will respond via mail. They will also have the right to protest the decision of the Executive Director by providing a written request to the Board. The members of the Board will make a final determination and respond (in writing) to the client within two (2) weeks.