WASHINGTON, DC — The US Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded over $40 million to 21 organizations and five state agencies to help American families across the country make their homes more energy and lower their utility costs. The funds from the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), bolstered by more than $3.2 billion through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help repair, electrify, and weatherize homes to save families money on their energy bills.
“Weatherization is a great way to save hundreds of dollars on energy bills, but unfortunately aging electrical systems and structural complications keep homes in disrepair locked out of this money saving benefit,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s funding from DOE doubles down on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $3.5 billion investment in weatherization by getting homes weatherization ready, helping thousands of Americans save money on their utility bills, and developing the next generation of a clean energy workforce.”
These investments also create good-paying jobs, support the workforce development and retention, and help service providers leverage innovative technologies in energy retrofits, increasing the potential to apply these new technologies on a wider scale. These awards also support the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative – which seeks to deliver 40% of the climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is the nation’s oldest energy efficiency program, serving every county in every state, the District of Columbia, and the five US territories. Since the program began in 1976, it has helped more than seven million low-income residences weatherize their homes and reduced energy bills by an average of $372 annually. When factoring in energy efficiency and health and safety benefits, every dollar invested in the Weatherization Assistance Program returns $4.50 to our most vulnerable citizens. The program has historically supported 8,500 jobs and provided weatherization services to approximately 35,000 homes each year.
Today’s awards provide $36.5 million to 21 organizations through DOE’s Enhancement and Innovation (E&I) Program and $5.1 million to five state weatherization agencies through the Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers (SERC) Program. The E&I program awardees will focus on preparing homes in historically disadvantaged communities for weatherization and electrification. SERC awards will incorporate innovative technologies, such as solar photovoltaic panels, geothermal heat pumps, cool roofs, or exterior wall panels, into energy retrofits.
Additionally, some of the E&I selectees will focus on workforce development initiatives and activities, including outreach and recruitment, job readiness programs, new approaches to mentoring, counseling and coaching, and stipends and wages for trainees. These initiatives may involve formal partnerships with organized labor, trade schools, technical colleges, local governments, and community-based organizations dedicated to reducing barriers to employment for underserved populations.
The projects funded through these awards will enhance the over $3 billion investment in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand DOE’s Weatherization program ten times current funding levels. The awardees will further lay the groundwork for more equitable WAP services by performing the repairs and upgrades low-income homes required before clean energy technologies can be safely installed. Making these homes electrification-ready is a necessary step toward reducing the energy burden and lowering costs for American households.
Learn more about the awardees and their projects.
If you are interested in learning more about applying for weatherization services, visit the WAP website to find contact information for the organization that serves your community. You can also sign up for regular news and announcements from WAP.