DOE Unveils Changes to Weatherization Program
At the NASCSP-sponsored DOE State Weatherization Managers’ Conference September 11 – 14, 2012, the focus was on a resource-limited future.
However, the federal program leaders also had a few immediate surprises for the gathering. For example:
NO MORE BASELOAD MEASURES: Legal Review of WAP policies at DOE found that the regulation allowing installation of electric baseload measures, i.e. refrigerators and light bulbs, paid for by WAP is not authorized by statute and must stop forthwith. Robert Adams, Weatherization Supervisor at DOE, told attendees that email notification would follow and that details about using refrigerators and bulbs already purchased were yet to be worked out.
2014 INSPECTIONS MUST BE BY ACCREDITED INSPECTORS: To be considered complete, 2014 DOE homes must be inspected by an individual who has qualified for the new certification for Inspector. Robert Adams shared that the Department’s estimate of the cost of training and testing the needed workforce would be about $30 million in 2013. He announced that state would be allowed to retain 20% of their allocation for T & TA. At the currently projected appropriations level, that would be just over $12 million nationwide. See article below for accreditation and scholarship details.
With input from over 60 stakeholders, a DOE-selected ‘Weatherization Plus 2015 Committee’ has been drafting a report outlining a three year strategic plan for the program. At the Atlanta conference, the Department presented the major topics still under consideration:
● Streamlining the program
● Assuring Quality of Service
● Leveraging Additional Resources
● Communication and
● New Market Development that supports the WAP workforce.
Further tough questions were posed to the audience, which, not surprisingly, failed to reach consensus:
● Should DOE raise the SIR from 1.0 to 1.5?
● Should legislation reduce the state per unit average spent from $6,500 to much less?
● Should program eligibility drop to 150% of the poverty threshold (from 200%)?
● Should states be required to spend WAP funds on leveraging activities? To have a leveraging plan?
What do you think? Please answer our short opinion survey and add your thoughts on how leveraging advocacy can be better supported.
Subsidy Available for Tests at BPI Training Centers
The floodgates are now open for the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals. Or are they? We have previously reported on this DOE milestone project but until very recently test centers and the supporting organizational infrastructure were not ready for live events. It has now been confirmed that a sprinkling of students are beginning to enroll to take one of the four HEP classifications of tests at BPI affiliated test centers around the country. Moreover the good news is that if your current or former WAP employees would like to take one of these rigorous tests they may be eligible for a free test subsidy. (Please be sure to check which of the BPI centers is offering the subsidy.) Currently there are 800 written and 800 field exam subsidies being offered. We highly recommend that interested parties read the BPI Frequently Asked Questions to obtain as much information about the certifications and how they relate to work prerequisites and even personal information such as criminal background checks. After making a determination if this is right for you or your employee then the next step is to fill out an application and be sure to check the last question on page 1 –which denotes that person is applying for the subsidy. We earnestly suggest that you move as quickly as possible to apply for this subsidy. The total number of subsidies are not only limited but the number of test centers (above) are limited as well. Transportation and lodging costs are certainly an important factor if agencies must send workers to a center that is normally not the one they would deliver them to. But be sure to catch this good offer while it lasts!
Need to Know How to Leverage More?
Meet Us at the NCAF Energy Leveraging/Community Development Conference, Oct 22-25 in St. Petersburg Florida!
This annual meeting is the only one that concentrates on the HOW TO’s of proposing and winning new programs and partners to expand Weatherization and LHEAP; that is why EOS’ Leveraged Partnerships Project is contributing materials and experts to work directly with local program leaders like you as well as industry and government partners. Among the timely offerings: How to better understand and use the many kinds of financing for efficiency we are hearing about. What are some of the best ideas for getting revenue from “new markets” and how do they work? In addition to energy services, solar installations, housing maintenance and new technology partners can keep your skilled teams working. Hear what creative colleagues are trying out now. How do you make the case to regulators or state legislatures for expanded efficiency dollars and for protections from shutoff and bill help? Why are many utilities shy about working with you, and what changes will get you over those hurdles? What are promising practices (as your admin dollars diminish) for coordinating other local agencies and your programs to get every family a comprehensive energy solution?
Beyond workshops, the whole conference will hear from provocative thought leaders and philanthropists who will offer a mix of mind-stretching predictions 1) about our communities and how they will use energy in just 20 years and 2) where foundations, governments and the private sector plan to put their economic and energy futures money. The hotel rates go up in a few days, so check it out now and join us in the sessions we are sponsoring and at our vendor area where we can talk about the free help we have to offer your leveraging activities.
Comings and Goings at EOS
After six years, Eli Nesson is leaving EOS and moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Eli ably filled a variety of different roles as manager, communicator, webmasater and IT department. He will be missed, and we wish him the best of luck.
Levi Juhl is his replacement and will be taking over the responsibilities of operations and communications. He previously worked in the wireless industry and we are pleased he is excited to be a part of our team.
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:
» Future of Weatherization
» Certification Test
» NCAF Conference
» Weatherization Toolkits
» EOS Changes
Weatherization ‘s Future?
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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."