The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. WAP is operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes, and U.S. Territories. Funds are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry. The energy conservation resulting from the efforts of state and local agencies helps our country reduce its dependence on foreign oil and decrease the cost of energy for families in need while improving the health and safety of their homes.Weatherization reduces home energy consumption and lowers energy bills for low-income families. This equates to a 35% reduction in primary heating fuel use. This alleviates the heavy energy burden on low-income households and helps them become more self-sufficient. The weatherization measures installed provide long-term relief for low-income families and protect against future fluctuations in energy prices and supplies. The West Virginia Development Office – Community Advancement and Development manages the state’s low-income Weatherization assistance program. WVCAD contracts statewide with 12 local community action agencies that employ trained weatherization crews to install, in low-income homes, energy efficiency and conservation measures prescribed by energy audits and diagnostic testing. Coalfield Community Action Partnership, Inc. service area includes Boone, Clay, Kanawha and Mingo Counties. To be considered eligible for the program the home must be structurally adaptable for weatherization materials and the family must be at or below 200% of the poverty guidelines, with particular focus on elderly, children and/or disabled clients. The program conducts tests for carbon monoxide, gas leak detection, and flue, chimney and vent pipe inspection. For each home the program can insulate attics, walls, floors, water heater, ducts and pipes; also repair holes in floors, ceilings, windows and doors by repairing or replacing. Furnace, water heater and refrigerator replacement are also possible if warranted. Keep in mind, that the specific work on each home is dependent upon the need based on thorough pre and post-work inspections.
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