D.C.Forum Promotes Weatherization on a Global Scale
CHP President and CEO Janaka Casper and CHP Energy Solutions Vice President Mark Jackson were in Washington, D.C. on February 27, where they represented the newly formed nonprofit organization Weatherizers Without Borders (WWB) at a Public Discussion Forum on energy efficiency in low-income housing. WWB, which was co-founded last year by CHP with the Argentine NGO known as FOVISEE (Foro de Vivienda Sustentabilidad y Energias), hosted the event hosted in partnership with the Department of Sustainable Development of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA). The forum offered speakers and participants from 34 nations the opportunity to analyze energy efficiency practices for low-income households in the U.S., Mexico, and Uruguay as other countries in Latin America launch similar policies and programs.
During the event’s opening session, U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko emphasized the positive impact of the 40-year-old U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-managed Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and that the program clearly demonstrates how governments can support the reduction of energy consumption and dependency, while also improving quality of life for people. According to Tonko, the WAP can be successfully transferred from one nation to another with international coordination and cooperation.
The organizers of WWB, which combats energy inefficiency and energy poverty in order to improve the health, safety, comfort, and economy of families across the globe, share Tonko’s enthusiasm for replicating government supported energy efficiency programs such as WAP and have spent the past year explaining to Latin American diplomatic officials, local community and business leaders, educators, manufacturers, and the media the social, financial, and environmental benefits of investing in weatherization.
Jackson, who wears two hats as a CHP vice president and WWB vice president and chief operating officer, remarked that, “We believe that the WAP model would be a perfect fit for Latin America. The need for energy efficiency in existing housing is especially critical for low-income families, as they end up paying more for energy and are subject to health and safety threats due to irregular and precarious electrical connections and makeshift heating elements. Fortunately, weatherization can have a dramatic impact on energy bills and improve the ‘livability’ of a home. Our goal is to help spread this message and train others how to implement a successful program.”