It’s Household Benefits Week – energy health and safety benefits galore!
We all know that Weatherization is a special program that makes impactful changes in peoples lives across the country. The benefits of the Weatherization Assistance Program are multiple and expansive, including energy efficiency and increased health and safety. As we jump into Energy Efficiency Awareness Month, we want to highlight some of these benefits.
Energy efficiency is the most common metric we look at. As a result of weatherization households annually save, on average, 18% on heating consumption – that’s $372 every year to put towards food or transportation or childcare or whatever that household is in need of. Weatherization helps alleviate low-income client’s energy burden through cost-effective building shell improvements such as insulation and air sealing; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; lighting; and appliances.
Less commonly discussed but no less impactful are the health and safety benefits of the WAP. The WAP directly supports a number of health and safety activities like:
- Combustion appliance and heating systems safety testing
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Improved indoor air quality
- Evaluate mold/moisture hazards
- Lead-safe weatherization (limited to procedures for installing weatherization measures without increasing the existing risk of exposure to lead, but does not include lead abatement)
- Procedures to identify pre-existing health conditions in homes and clients, address these problems, and ensure that weatherization does not exacerbate these problems.
As a result of weatherization along with its associated health and safety activities, households reap great rewards outside the energy efficiency realm. According to the Department of Energy “Non-energy benefits represent tremendous value for families whose homes receive weatherization services. After weatherization, families have homes that are more livable, resulting in fewer missed days of work (e.g., sick days, doctor visits), and decreased out-of-pocket medical expenses by an average of $514. The total health and household related benefits for each unit averages $14,148.”
We also hear from our local partners, be they firefighters, first responders, school staff or other the noticeable impact the WAP has on shared clients: less visits to and from homes where individuals have asthma or other chronic respiratory issues, less missed days of school and work and more. These real-life impacts, the ability for clients to live their lives a little more fully, less ill, are so important to remember – we hope todays blog serves as a reminder and motivation to keep doing the amazing work of Weatherization! Join NASCSP in celebrating Energy Efficiency Awareness Month this October and share the amazing work you do every year for clients across the country. Use our super simple Success Story form!