Yesterday, in recognition of Energy Awareness Month and National Weatherization Day (October 30), we launched a four-part blog series on the history and impact of weatherization in America. Signed into law in 1976, the Weatherization Assistance Program was created to help low-income households save money on their utility bills, increase energy efficiency in the home, and improve health and safety at no cost to participants. The first installment of this series, which can be accessed here, focused the practice of weatherization and how it protects homes from the elements (precipitation, wind, extreme temperatures, sunlight). And not only does weatherization reduce energy costs, decrease energy usage, and lead to better health outcomes in the home, it significantly helps the environment and promotes environmental justice.
How Weatherization Improves the Environment and Advances Environmental Justice
According to the National Academy of Sciences, residential energy use in the United States accounts for one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. Weatherization not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas released into our atmosphere improving air quality, it also lessens the stress on the nation’s power grids while the use of more durable, energy efficient materials make homes more resilient to the effects of climate change.
In the past 45 years, Community Action agencies across America have weatherized approximately 7.7 million homes. Still, there is much to be done considering that there are currently more than 38 million homes in the United States that qualify for weatherization services. The current administration’s infrastructure bill pending before congress seeks to increase funding for weatherization. Moreover, an additional component of this proposal is to better promote environmental equity and justice as low-income households and BIPOC communities are disparately affected by the impacts of climate change.
How to Apply for Weatherization Services
Eligible households in Ramsey or Washington counties can connect with Community Action’s Energy Conservation Program and weatherization services by first applying to our Energy Assistance Program. Call 651-645-6470, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our Energy Assistance webpage to learn more and download and application. For Minnesota residents outside of Ramsey or Washington counties, please visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce online or call 651-539-1500.
This is part two of a four-part blog. Part three will run tomorrow (October 28) and focus on how weatherization saves families’ money, while part four to run on Friday (October 29) will highlight how weatherization services improves the health and safety in the household.