Adding insulation to a home and reducing drafts can save people energy and money on their utility bills.
Federal weatherization assistance can help low-income residents afford the cost of these changes, but it may not be an option if the house needs other repairs.
For example, making a house more airtight helps keep the cold out, but if the roof leaks, doing so can worsen mold.
So many applications to the federal weatherization program are deferred because the home needs other repairs first.
“If they’re deferred, then those homes will probably never come back, or rarely ever come back, for weatherization,” says Steve Luxton of the nonprofit Energy Coordinating Agency.
His group works with Energize Delaware to offer a program that repairs Delaware homes that have been deferred for weatherization.
When repairs are done – a roof or leaky plumbing is fixed – the home is automatically put on the list for weatherization.
“That low-income household now is going to be able to live in a safer, drier home,” Luxton says. “But from a bigger picture, when a home is weatherized, its energy is reduced significantly in some cases. And that means that also it’s not just that household that benefits, it’s the environment that benefits as well.”
Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media