Bill Beachy Receives National Recognition for Contributions to Weatherization Industry
Bill Beachy, Community Housing Partners’ (CHP) vice president of energy solutions, is the recipient of the 2015 James Gardner Weatherization Award, which was presented to him on February 26 by the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) for his significant commitment, service, and outstanding contributions to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s 39-year-old Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
“I can’t think of a more deserving individual to receive this recognition,” said CHP President and CEO Janaka Casper. “He has dedicated his entire career to delivering the highest quality of weatherization services possible to Virginia’s most impoverished households and providing weatherization training to countless of individuals in the industry. Bill is truly mission-driven and cares deeply about creating safe, comfortable, and energy efficient homes for some of the most vulnerable and underserved members of our communities.”
CHP Vice President of Energy Solutions Mark Jackson also applauded Beachy’s award, saying of his colleague, “I don’t think there is anyone in the history of WAP who has done more to improve services, develop effective training and best practices, and make the program a shining light.”
WAP was created in 1976 to reduce energy costs for low-income families—particularly those with elderly, disabled, or underage family members— by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety. The program, which uses the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry, is operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes, and U.S. Territories.
Beachy, who has nearly four decades of weatherization and energy efficiency experience, served for ten years as the state manager of the Virginia Weatherization Assistance Program for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) before joining CHP in 1999. Prior to that, Beachy worked as a weatherization coordinator with Virginia Community Action Partnership and delivered weatherization services as a CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) worker straight out of college.
It was during his earliest years in the industry that he realized weatherization work was his calling when he helped an elderly woman who had lost her home to a fire. “She was living in a chicken coop and her neighbors scraped together enough money to buy her an old trailer that had neither heat nor water. She kept warm by placing a small electric space heater under her housecoat and trapping the warm air inside her clothing. We were able to dig her a well and install a furnace for her so that she could make it safely through the winters. It was an eye-opening experience and determined my path for the next 38 years.”
Upon his arrival at CHP, Beachy helped launch a weatherization training program, often traveling throughout the Southeast on its behalf to provide classroom and hands-on training to industry professionals. This training initiative has since grown in to the CHP Energy Solutions Research and Training Center, which has trained over 30,000 individuals in the U.S., Canada, and Argentina.
Beachy also oversaw two expansions of CHP’s weatherization service area—as either a direct service provider or a subcontractor for other WAP providers—from just the New River Valley to 42 localities in Virginia, with over 50 percent of the total statewide weatherization production now being completed by CHP. He now manages over 60 employees in three offices and oversees dozens of sub-contractors across the state.
Beachy helped found the Association of Energy Conservation Professionals (AECP), a Virginia weatherization network trade organization of which is he is now board president, and has sat on numerous DOE committees and working groups over years, where he acted as a valued consultant to the agency and other weatherization providers across the country. He is currently a member of DOE’s Quality Management Program Working Group and a member of the national Weatherization Trainers Consortium.
Over 15,000 Virginia households have benefited from weatherization services during Beachy’s time with CHP, although the total number of individuals whose lives were improved over the span of Beachy’s career reaches into the tens of thousands.