Frequently Asked Questions about Weatherization
What is weatherization and who provides these services?
Weatherizing a home is about installing measures that cut energy costs. These are things like air-sealing through adding weather stripping and caulking windows, installing attic and sidewall insulation, and other activities designed to cut energy consumption in a home, reducing heating and electrical demand. Thirty community action agencies and two limited purpose agencies throughout the state that operate the Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income individuals and families in Michigan.
How does the program work?
Individuals apply for weatherization through their local community action agency or weatherization operator. The agency will review their income to determine if the household is eligible to receive weatherization. Eligible applicants will have a pre-inspection completed on their home to determine which weatherization measures will be most cost-effective. The agency will then schedule the weatherization work to be completed. The weatherization crew or contractor will visit the home and perform the work, and a post-inspection will be completed.
How much money will Michigan receive?
Michigan will receive $325.4 million in weatherization and energy efficiency funding, including $243.4 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program and $82 million for the State Energy Program.
What are the eligibility guidelines?
The Weatherization Assistance Program will allow an average investment of up to $6,500 per home in energy efficiency upgrades and will be available for families making up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $44,000 a
year for a family of four.
What is the estimated savings if I have my home weatherized?
On average, weatherization reduces heating bills by 25 percent and overall energy bills by $350 to $400 per year.
What are other benefits of having my home weatherized?
In addition to the economic benefits that result from lowering energy bills, weatherizing a home makes the home more comfortable for its residents, improves the safety of the heating systems, and has a broader impact in terms of the environmental benefits that come from reducing energy usage. In addition, weatherization reduces dependence on foreign oil and it creates many direct and indirect jobs in local economies.
How can I connect with the community action agency in my area?
Contact the Michigan Community Action Agency Association at 517-321-7500 or visit the directory of community action agencies in Michigan.
What if it's not enough and I need help with my energy costs?
There are a number of resources available to assist low-income households with energy bill payment. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps to fund the State Emergency Relief program that is operated through local DHS offices. LIHEAP also supports the Home Heating Credit. You can find out about all of these programs at www.michigan.gov/heatingassistance.
Community action agencies also run energy education programs in conjunction with their weatherization programs. These are educational workshops that teach residents simple techniques they can use to reduce their energy usage in the home such as dialing down their thermostat or replacing existing light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.