October 30, 2019
Community Housing Partners (CHP), which has provided weatherization services in Virginia since 1976, is celebrating National Weatherization Day on Wednesday, Oct. 30.
National Weatherization Day brings local, state, and national attention to the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which is celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, as well as the members of the WAP network. Established by the U.S. Department of Energy in 1976, the WAP aims to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income Americans, thus reducing their energy costs while safeguarding their health and safety.
CHP is among the largest nonprofits to deliver weatherization services through WAP. The program determines eligibility based on household income and prioritizes households with elderly residents, individuals with disabilities, and families with children.
Since its inception, the program has weatherized millions of homes in every town, city, and county in the United States and has advanced considerably over the years. When it began, technicians installed simple low-cost measures such as caulking, plastic on windows, and door weather-stripping. Today, it has emerged as a sophisticated diagnostic program utilizing the latest building science techniques and best practices, which maximize energy and dollar savings.
Modern techniques include blower door directed air-sealing, heating and cooling system safety inspections, efficiency testing, and repair and replacement, duct system diagnostics and repair, advance insulation techniques, inefficient appliance replacement and much more. All of these applications are guided by a sophisticated computerized energy audit procedure which uses data and other analyses to determine the most energy efficient and cost-effective whole house approach. On average, homes weatherized by CHP reduce their energy burden by about 30 percent.
Weatherization crews receive state-of-the-art training from weatherization training centers such as CHP’s Energy Solutions Research and Training Center in Christiansburg, Virginia. The Training Center offers building science and energy conservation education and certifications and was one of the first Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accredited training programs in the nation. Since 1999, it has reached more than 36,000 students across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 540-381-9446 and dialing zero to speak to an operator.