ICAST Receives Award to Pilot a Multifamily-Focused Redesign of the Weatherization Assistance Program
ICAST is excited to announce that we were recently awarded approximately $1.9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to launch “WAP 2.0″— an innovative redesign of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The WAP, overseen by the DOE, helps reduce low-income (LI) households’ energy costs by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety; it predominantly serves single-family (SF) homes. Through this project, ICAST will demonstrate a focus on multifamily affordable housing (MFAH) while deploying state-of-the-art distributed energy resources (DERs).
The DOE provides weatherization grants to states which then leverage State and Utility funds to contract with local service providers to deliver WAP services to LI households. State WAP Administrators are often hesitant to implement WAP for MFAH due to a lack of knowledge and resources. Additionally, few service providers are familiar with this segment’s unique regulatory, technological, and logistical needs.
In collaboration with its team members (provided below), ICAST will implement WAP 2.0 pilot projects and encourage at least one State WAP Administrator to launch a WAP 2.0 program. This project will demonstrate that focusing on MFAH can enable twice as many LI households to be served using the current WAP budget for SF homes. To do this, ICAST will leverage the volume efficiencies of MFAH (i.e., serving perhaps 100 units in one location under one contract versus 100 SF homes) the smaller size of the apartments, and various financial resources (incl. owner contributions, utility rebates, tax credits, grants, etc.). We will detail WAP 2.0 successes, process designs, lessons learned, and case studies in a Resource Guide to facilitate national replication and scaling.
ICAST is proud to implement a program to help expand WAP services for a historically neglected segment. In alignment with Justice40 goals, this project will help decarbonize housing, significantly reduce energy bills, and enhance the quality of life for underserved communities.
Team members: National Housing & Rehabilitation Association, National Association of State Energy Officials, National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, and Triple Bottom Line Foundation (ICAST’s affiliated Community Development Financial Institution).