January 30, 2018

Earlier this month, temperatures dropped to the single digits along the East Coast, causing schools to close and heating bills to skyrocket for many residents. Community Housing Partners (CHP), which has provided weatherization services in Virginia since 1976, helped age- and income-qualifying households in the state keep their homes warm and reduce energy costs amid the freezing temperatures and winter weather.

“Although we perform weatherization services throughout the year, our work is especially important during winter weather like we have had over the past month,” said CHP Vice President of Energy Solutions Bill Beachy. “Our weatherization program provides energy efficiency, health, safety, and durability improvements to the homes of the populations we serve.”

CHP is among the largest nonprofits to deliver services through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which increases the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income Americans, thereby reducing their energy costs while safeguarding their health and safety. Among low-income households, the program prioritizes those with elderly residents, individuals with disabilities, and families with children.

To date, CHP has performed approximately 28,000 weatherization jobs over the past 40 years. During that time, industry techniques and equipment have evolved from simple low-cost measures such as caulking, plastic on windows, and door weather-stripping to a sophisticated diagnostic process utilizing the most recent advances in building science. All of CHP’s weatherization measures are guided by a computerized energy audit procedure that uses data and other techniques to determine the most energy efficient and cost-effective whole-house approach. Members of CHP’s Energy Solutions team can address blower-door-directed air leakage, heating system safety and efficiency, duct leakage, and insulation needs.

“We know that our approach is successful because, on average, weatherized homes reduce their energy burden by 25 percent,” added CHP Vice President of Energy Solutions Mark Jackson. (Watch Mark Jackson explain how chilly weather can cause your heating bill to go up in a recent video by CHP’s Energy Solutions Research and Training Center.)

In Virginia, the WAP is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). DHCD contracts weatherization services to CHP and other nonprofit agencies around the state. Primary funding for the program is a combination of U.S. Department of Energy funds, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds, and some funding from Virginia utility companies.

Residents can view a map of weatherization service areas in Virginia and contact CHP to see if they qualify by emailing chpenergysolutions@chpc2.org or calling 540-381-9446 and dialing zero to speak to an operator.