Weatherization Plus Background
The goal of Weatherization Plus is to enable the Weatherization Assistance Program to achieve significantly greater energy cost savings for more low-income households and to increase the Program's contribution to the economic and environmental health and sustainability of our nation's communities.
Discussions about strategic planning for the evolution of the Weatherization Assistance Program first began in the fall of 1998. As an outcome of the Brooklyn discussions, a planning group, called the Weatherization Millennium Committee, was formed.
The Millennium Committee developed a visionary report containing a strategy for strengthening and expanding WAP for the future. Named Weatherization Plus: Opportunities for the 21st Century
, this strategic plan urged the Department to support the network of state and local Weatherization agencies in flexibly adopting a whole-house approach and a whole-community approach to better serve low-income Americans.
When the original Weatherization Millennium Committee's work was completed, a follow-on group, called the Millennium Implementation Planning Committee (MIC)took the vision of the first Committee and transferred it into an implementation plan. With input from the entire network, the MIC formulated a series of action steps to lay the groundwork for Weatherization Plus . Actions were defined in the context of the three main strategies that the original committee established. They are:
Increase the network's flexibility through legislative/regulatory program improvements, and facilitating the role of Weatherization agencies in interactions with other community-based initiatives.
Advance the network's technological capabilities through an integrated strategy of training and technical assistance to employ new and advanced technologies which have been determined to be cost-effective, but have not been readily available to the Weatherization network in the past.
Expand resources available to the network through exchange of information on successes and new opportunities, interagency partnerships, appropriations at state and federal levels, and other leveraged funds from multiple sources.
In May of 2000, an update on Weatherization Plus was provided via a report entitled: "Progress Report on Weatherization Plus : Steps to New Opportunities in the 21st Century." It reported on the status of the 18 specific actions that the MIC defined to lay the groundwork for success assuming eventual broader network implementation when the necessary resources become available. Another update was issued in June 2001, entitled, "Weatherization Plus Progress Report: Poised to Move Forward."
In October of 2000, statutory changes were made to the Program to restructure the method of which states compute their average cost per home; eliminate the separate per dwelling capital intensive improvements category; increase the average cost per home to $2,500; and, eliminate the requirement that 40% of funds used to weatherize a home be spent for materials.
On December 8, 2000, the Weatherization Program regulations were amended to, among other things, add high-energy burden and high-energy user categories for priority service; to create a separate category for health and safety expenditures and vehicle purchases; and, to revise the date for reweatherization from 1985 to 1993.
Weatherization Plus - The Next Generation
In 2005, the Program pulled together stakeholders from all segments of the Weatherization Program network to discuss the next five years of the Program. The following three strategies were critical focal points:
- Expanded Resources: Leveraging/Partnerships
- Strengthen the network capability to develop and pursue partnership opportunities through communications and training and technical assistance
- Strengthen the network capability to develop leveraging strategic plans based on national and localized commitment to opportunities, needs, and goals (for all regional, state, and local Weatherization offices)
- Identify/create/design/plan systematic linkages to other DOE programs, other Federal programs, and other stakeholders
- Consistent Delivery of Quality Services
- Disseminate training and proficiency expectation
- Improve the quality and consistency of monitoring and inspection efforts
- Identify ways to attract and retain qualified workers
- Provide tools to state and local agencies for establishing and encouraging minimum technical standards
- National Information Exchange Resource
- Develop a central repository wherein all materials developed with Weatherization funding at the federal, state, or local level are made accessible to the full network
- Identify information/materials/mechanisms to assist agencies in advancing Weatherization Plus initiatives
Weatherization Plus 2015
The changes within Weatherization enacted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) brought even a greater flexibility and opened new possibilities of additional energy efficiency and renewable energy work that is being accomplished by the Weatherization Network while they are delivering Weatherization services.
As the Recovery Act comes to an end and the Weatherization moves into the next generation of providing efficiency and renewable energy improvements for millions of families across the country, the time has come to identify a new strategic roadmap to guide Weatherization through 2015 and beyond. Read more on the Home Page