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CHP's Chris Heslep Honored by U.S. Department of Energy

Christiansburg, Va. – Chris Heslep, a thirty-year-veteran of Community Housing Partners’ (CHP) energy services department, recently received a National Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Energy at the 2011 National Weatherization Conference in New Orleans. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) National Recognition Awards serves to identify individuals and organizations that consistently demonstrate commitment to the program. “Through their initiative, these individuals and organizations make a significant contribution toward improving the management, administration, and service delivery within the weatherization network,” explained an award profile provided by the DOE.

Bill Beachy, vice president of CHP’s energy services department, said Heslep is highly deserving of such recognition. “In Chris’ years with CHP he has demonstrated outstanding performance in leadership, innovation, service, partnership, and public outreach. He has always felt personally responsible for the quality, effectiveness, and appropriateness of work completed for each household and has implemented untold numbers of partnerships with other community-based organizations, utilities, local governments, and other state and federal funding sources so that CHP's recipients of services can have their true needs addressed.” In addition to working long hours, Heslep volunteers his time providing voluntary weatherization education to the public at special events. According to Beachy, Heslep’s contributions have aided over 20,000 recipients of weatherization and other related services.

Heslep began his career with the Christiansburg-based nonprofit when he was hired for a summer job at the age of 17. When that ended, a full-time position as a crew worker became available and Chris began weatherizing homes for low-income people full-time. Today, Heslep serves as director of field operations, with oversight for CHP’s weatherization, emergency home repair, and crisis heating and cooling programs. Heslep and his crew also provide home performance diagnostic testing, energy ratings and training in home efficiency measures.

About the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP):
The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is to reduce energy costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety. The program was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. WAP is operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes, and U.S. Territories. Funds are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry. The energy conservation resulting from the efforts of state and local agencies helps our country reduce its dependence on foreign oil and decrease the cost of energy for families in need while improving the health and safety of their homes.

WAP is governed by various federal regulations designed to help manage and account for the resources provided by DOE. WAP funding is derived from annual appropriations from Congress. Each year, the Senate and House Interior Appropriations committees decide how much funding to allocate to the program.