What is weatherization?
Weatherization makes homes more energy efficient. Weatherization of a home typically involves the installation
of attic, wall and floor insulation and sealing holes and cracks with caulking,
weather-stripping and other types of materials. In addition, all furnaces,
cooking stoves and water heaters receive a safety inspection. Weatherization
services do not include roof replacement, siding repairs or replacement
Who is eligible to receive weatherization services?
An estimated 51,000 Nebraska households
are eligible for weatherization assistance services. Preference is given
to persons over 60, persons with disabilities, and families with children
Eligibility is limited
to households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty
level. Eligibility income levels rise based on the number of persons living in the home.
Income guidelines are listed here. Households containing a member who is receiving either Aid to Dependent Children or Supplemental Security Income are automatically eligible to receive services.
How can I receive home weatherization services?
Eight, non-profit organizations provide
local weatherization services. They are responsible for establishing eligibility,
performing an energy audit on the residence and scheduling the weatherization
work. Click here to find the weatherization provider in your area.
Congress provides funds
for weatherization assistance which varies from year to year. Please be
patient if you are put on a waiting list. Your home will be weatherized
as soon as possible. Click here to learn the average number of homes weatherized
in your area.
Are renters eligible for weatherization services?
Yes, both homeowners and renters are eligible,
whether you live in a single-family home, multi-family housing complex,
or a mobile home, you can apply for assistance. However, renters must
receive written permission from their landlords to weatherize their homes or rental units.
Is there a charge for weatherization services?
All weatherization services are provided at no cost. However, if a furnace or water heater in a rental home is
found to be unsafe, it is the responsibility of the property owner to replace or
repair the appliance before weatherization of the home can begin.
Can mobile homes be weatherized?
Yes, typical improvements to mobile homes include underbelly insulation, storm windows and sealing air leaks.
Does weatherization reduce heating bills?
Weatherization reduces your energy bills
for a long time. After a home has been weatherized, energy used for heating
is often reduced by up to 25 percent. Some improvements, such as insulating
your walls or attic, for example, will continue to provide savings for
the lifetime of the home -- 30 years or more. Other improvements, such
as making heating or cooling equipment more efficient, will provide savings
for 10 to 15 years. On average, the value of the weatherization improvements
to a house is 2.2 times greater than the cost of the improvement itself.
Can a home receive weatherization services every year?
A home may be weatherized only once, except
that homes weatherized before October 1, 1993 may be reweatherized.
What are the alternatives to waiting for weatherization
- The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or
LIHEAP may be an option. You may be eligible for short-term assistance on your utility bill.
- Assistance to individuals in a natural disaster may
be another, but limited, option. The
Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, provides a number
of services to assist individuals who are victims of a natural disaster.
These services include low-interest loans, some cash grants, and links
to assistance from other agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service
and Farm Service
Dollar and Energy Saving Loans may be an option for making home
weatherization improvements. Any improvement that can be completed under
the weatherization program can also be financed with loans from the
Energy Office and participating lenders. There are no income restrictions
for loans. Lenders determine an applicant's credit worthiness.
What happens to a home that is weatherized?
Staff from your local or regional
community action agency conducts an assessment or
energy audit of the home. The agency is a nonprofit local weatherization
or regional agency trained in home weatherization. The energy audit is
a computerized assessment of your home's energy use and an analysis of
which energy saving improvements are best for your home.
Once the audit is complete,
the auditor or weatherization staff member will meet with the homeowner
or renter to explain how the work crews will conduct the work. Depending
on the assessment, some homes will receive more work than others. The
average value of weatherization services provided is $6,500.
Throughout the weatherization process, the health and safety of a household is a priority. Following
the weatherization, a Weatherization Assistance Program Inspector will visit to make certain that everything
is working properly and that nothing was missed. Learn how specific home weatherization improvements save energy.