| Frequently Asked Questions
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 windows.
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 under six.
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
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
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
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 assistance?
- 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 Agency.
- 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.