Energy Awareness Month
October is Energy Awareness Month, which will culminate this coming Saturday (October 30, 2021) in National Weatherization Day. For 46 years, Community Action agencies like ours have collectively weatherized approximately 7.7 million American housing units (both houses and apartments) to create healthier homes, reduce energy costs, and improve the environment.
Today’s installment of the Working Together blog kicks off a four-part series this week on the topic of weatherization, which will cover the following details: What is weatherization (today); How weatherization increases energy efficiency and improves the environment (tomorrow); How weatherization saves families’ money (Thursday); And, how weatherization improves health outcomes for families, especially the health and wellness of children, seniors, and those with disabilities (Friday).
What is weatherization?
Weatherization, often stylized as Wx, is the practice of protecting a home or building’s interior from the elements such as precipitation, wind, humidity, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Established in 1976 by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Weatherization Assistance Program aims “to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improve their health and safety, especially low-income persons who are particularly vulnerable, such as the elderly, the disabled, and children.”
Weatherization protocols and procedures may include: the performance of a complete energy audit of the home; the cleaning and tuning of the home’s heating and cooling systems; insulating attics and walls; sealing air leaks; air flow and duct work; furnace repair or replacement; the installation of programmable thermostats and HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) controls; simple rules for increasing energy efficiency; and remedies that address other health and safety issues that may be found in the home.
If you are a resident of Ramsey or Washington counties, the process to access Community Action’s Energy Conservation Program and weatherization services is by first applying to our Energy Assistance Program. To do so, please call 651-645-6470, email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us online. You can also use our Energy Assistance webpage to see if you qualify for services, download an application, and find other helpful links including our Energy Conservation page.
For those residing in other Minnesota counties interested in energy assistance and weatherization services, please call the Minnesota Department of Commerce at 651-539-1500 or visit their website for an application and/or to find your local Community Action agency. And finally, for more information on the history and impact of America’s Weatherization Assistance Program, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at energy.gov.