September Newsletter 09, 2009 Volume 1, Issue 4

09, 2009 Volume 1, Issue 4

The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter

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

Top Story

WAP ARRA Funds Reaching American Families

Local weatherizers used ARRA weatherization funding for production in August and September. In most states, the pace of work is even faster than in the summer, when agencies were using other funding to tighten up more homes than ever.

One Home Builder Back to Work at a Time

Mark Ardelean recently joined the Salt Lake CAP crew as a Furnace Installer.

After 20 years as a private HVAC contractor, Mark found himself unemployed as a result of the housing crisis. He was on his last week of unemployment benefits when he got word that he would be starting a job in weatherization. Now he’s helping people who are in the same position he was in not too long ago.

Mark says that the job “has totally changed my life… It’s not about money here, it’s about making people happy… I’ve had people grab me and say thank you.” This was never something he would hear as a contractor.

The first such moment came three weeks into his job when an 83-year-old widow whose home he had helped weatherize thanked him in tears. He says her weeping touched him so much that, back in his truck he almost cried as he got behind the wheel.

Now 56 years old, Mark says “It’s really changed me, I used to hate my job. For the first time in 20 years, I love my job every single day.” Mark says he sees his future in weatherization. He plans to move up the agency career track and become an auditor.

Are you or a colleague a new WAP worker or contractor? Tell us YOUR WAP story at our survey page, and we will build a national network of successful national WAP recruits or something more simple.

Opportunity: Act Now!

DOE Will Make Grants for Community-Wide Retrofit Projects – On September 14, DOE announced it plans a competition for grants of up to $150 million for community-wide retrofitting initiatives that use "innovative" funding sources. Its site describes the plan for an October RFP.

The government and tribal organizations that receive Energy Efficient Community Block Grant (EECBG) funding are eligible, and they must form innovative partnerships, which can include weatherization organizations.

How To Get Involved:Watch Ungodly Acts (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

  1. Read the announcement and follow the links to the full plan.
  2. Contact your local government partners to join any plan they may be designing OR to begin to design a plan and a partnership.
  3. Get ready for the formal RFP in early October

See the list of EECBG grantees.


Training Event: The NCAF 2009 Community Investment & Energy Leveraging (CIF & NCAF Conferences Are Combined) – November 1-5, 2009, at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. It will combine:

  • community economic development,
  • green community investment resources,
  • green-collar worker initiatives,
  • energy programs partnerships, and
  • advocacy resources.

Reserve your room before October ??

Click here for more details and to register.

News

Two More Bumps Along Recovery Road

1) Tall Apartment Buildings

Buildings taller than five stories may not be weatherized with ARRA as planned. Davis-Bacon regulations require paying the commercial labor rates, not residential labor rates, for work on these buildings. This means many major measures would not be cost-effective when tested by the required Savings-to-Investment ratio. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done about this statutory requirement.

One solution: Weatherize those units with non-ARRA funds.
Limits to the solution: A few big cities might not be able to meet their production goals if they get their state’s entire regular grant.

2) Historic Preservation Rules

Homes 50 years old or older are covered under the National Historic Preservation Act. This means a waiver is needed from the state or local historic preservation office before work can proceed on each address. This slows down weatherization production. While DOE officials are seeking a national fix, the problem will most likely have to be solved at the state level.

Good news: Some states have figured out solutions to this problem. Arkansas’s and Washington state’s models exempts WAP jobs that will not change their exterior of the unit.


News

WAP ARRA Reporting Begins at Lightning Speed; Support Your Administrators!

States will report the official figures on the homes and jobs paid for by Recovery Act funds to the federal government on October 10. These figures cover March through September and will be released to the public three weeks later. This unprecedented turnaround means all staff in all agencies must be very, very kind to the office team that collects your reports for the next week. They need your understanding and sympathy, as do the understaffed state offices!


News

State and Federal Managers, Experts Confab in Twin Cities

At the National Association for State Community Services Programs conference, participants heard from representatives from the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, and Labor. Discussions focused on such as:

More Reports from Weatherizers

Gil Sperling, explained that DOE is waiting for permission from the Office of Management and Budget to increase WAP program reporting from quarterly to monthly so as to tell our dynamic story in "real time."

If approved, DOE will put out more guidance in regards to monthly reporting requirements on the DOE site. EOS will be following these developments closely and will post updated information on our own website: www.opportunitystudies.org/arra.

Picking Up the Production Pace in 2010

Sperling also asked states to re-visit their approved plans and set more ambitious monthly production targets from now until March 31, 2011, with the goal of having minimal funds remaining in 2011 and 2012.

Expanding the Department of Energy Staff

OWIP’s Sperling also announced that more than 60 new federal staffers would join the two Project Management Centers and DC headquarters offices.


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 WAP 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:
energy_leveraging_news@opportunitystudies.org.

In This Issue:

» ARRA at Work
» Opportunities: DOE Retrofit Grants
» ARRA in America
» Bumps on Recovery Road
» WAP Reporting
» NASCSP Conference

Our Project Staff:
Meg Power – Project Manager
Eli Nesson – Information Manager

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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."

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