February Newsletter 1, 2011 Volume 3, Issue 1

1, 2011 Volume 3, Issue 1

The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter

Economic Opportunity Studies, Inc.  |  www.weatherizationplus.org


How to Minimize ‘Call-Backs’ and Un-Funded Work

We have talked to concerned state and local Weatherizers nationwide and collected ideas that may be possible solutions. Any of these that appeal to you will need to be hammered out with the state and all local agencies. We suggest using this list with your own additions, as the agenda for a state-local working group first meeting. This list and more details can be downloaded from our site.

Your comments and ideas are needed by colleagues everywhere. Please join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Options to Consider: Local and State

Local Issues/Solutions

  • Inspector/crew or contractor relationship
    • Is an inspector ‘one of the guys/gals?’
    • Is an inspector too trusting of certain contractors?
    • Is each inspector well-trained?
    • Do local inspectors have consistent practices/standards within one agency, in every agency?
    • Who knows the answers to this question? Local W.A.P. coordinators? State monitors? Crews and contractors? If the answer is no: what immediate training response will rectify this?
  • Are contractor and crew payment policies based on uniform performance requirements?
  • Is agency preparation/response to state inspections standardized across the network? (See also – state issues). If not, build in the extra paperwork!

Prevention Solutions

  • More installer documentation for inspectors to see
  • Take multiple pictures before, during and after
  • Is file completion time built in to job order and compensated?
  • Be sure combustion analyzer printouts and other testing results are filed routinely.
  • Strategy: inform contractors before minor findings become major. Establish a report form so W.A.P. coordinators can spot patterns. Inspect new and problem crews/contractors while in progress.

State Issues/Solutions

  • Desk-top "forensic" monitoring to ID past (2010) post-completion spending patterns and target the sources of call-backs:
    • How many homes were call-backs?
    • What items?
    • What agencies?
    • What was the typical cost?
    • State inspectors who generate many call-backs?
    • Contractors who are often called back?
    • Measures that are the reason for call-backs?
  • Establish uniform, consistent monitoring/inspection practices
  • Establish non-DOE funding pool for ‘legitimate’ post-W.A.P. work. What is legitimate? How much?
    • Not items previously paid
    • Consistent with state healthy home and energy goals
    • Get a LIHEAP funding commitment, and retain some all program year
    • Have no-fault criteria (e.g. ‘Acts of God’ – how about ‘acts of client’ or ‘acts of client pets’?)
    • Alternative funds: state CDBG? Home repairs? State health funds (for H+S measures?)
  • Change RFB and contracts so contractors compete in full knowledge of the rule (no help to crews from this one, however.)
  • For state inspections, establish ‘vintages’ from which to sample. Announce when moving forward to new ‘vintage’, i.e. "We will be inspecting only homes weatherized after March 15 – beginning on May 15"

Change the Practice of Reporting Completions

  • Allow agencies to offer ‘near-complete’ homes for inspection in the ‘active vintage’. Pay most of reimbursement for near-complete. A near-completed home is one that is ready to be declared complete if the state inspector agrees OR when the ‘vintage’ is no longer ‘active’.
  • This means delays in reporting completions and it means that units will be ‘completed’ officially in large groups. (After the first 2 months, this should be invisible to DOE in SAGE reports if ‘vintages’ are about one month long.) States must withstand federal monitors’ pressure in favor of quality assurance.

The Newsletter of Economic Opportunity Studies’ Weatherization PLUS Leveraging Partnership Project brings timely information about developments that expand the Weatherization Assistance Program to help your organization take advantage of emerging opportunities. Visit the Weatherization PLUS portal for more information.

Why You Are Receiving This Email
Your name is on a list of federal and state Weatherization Program contacts from W.A.P. conference attendance records. Of course, you may unsubscribe (see below). However, we hope you will help us add the names and addresses of all who may be interested. Our promise: 1) We do not share our list, and, 2) The newsletter will be sent only when there is useful material for weatherizers.

Specific questions? Opinions? Subjects we should cover in the future? Email us at:

In This Issue:

» Call-Backs Strategies

Remember to take the NREL survey on national retrofit work standards and guidelines. The deadline is February 14, and more answers are needed.

» Survey for Energy Auditor
» Survey for Crew Leader
» Survey for Retrofit Installer/Technician
» Survey for Quality Control Inspector

Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook

Our Project Staff:

Meg Power
Project Manager

Fred Stratton
Project Coordinator

Nathan Warren
Project Coordinator

Eli Nesson
Information Manager

Disclaimer: "This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof."


Follow me!