Weatherization Plus News: Funding 2015 and more

Weatherization Plus News: Funding 2015 and more

March, 2014

The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter

Economic Opportunity Studies, Inc.  |

Top Story

President signs the 2015 Budget with his OMB Staff.

The President’s 2015 WAP 
Budget Request & Multi-family Financing Fund

The Budget asks $227.6 million for WAP,  restoring it to just a tad more than its pre – ARRA, FY 2008 level.   This is 131% of the FY 2014 level.  [See sidebar about 2014 funding].  However, the Administration asks that $15 million of WAP be set aside to fund up to 20 competitive “high-impact projects on financing models for the retrofit of low-income, multi-family buildings”. 

EOS’s Madiana Mustapha talked with Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Hogan at the Department’s Budget briefing and learned that the criteria for grants were still to be worked out with experts, including major housing organizations and experienced Weatherizers.  Hogan said this is a follow-on to the 2010 Weatherization Innovation Pilot Projects, but different because of its multi-family building focus. A similar Request in the 2014 Budget was not funded by Congress.

Other large efficiency and renewable energy programs for which large increases are requested in 2015 are  Advanced Manufacturing , wind energy and biomass fuels research. LIHEAP in the HHS budget is cut to $2.8 Billion from this year’s $3.4 Billion.  By balancing cuts and growth, the Administration Request is within the  two-year budget cap agreed to for 2014 and 2015; expenditures are kept to just over 2% growth in total.



Experts Share Strategies for Multifamily Retrofits

A smorgasbord of approaches to accessing multifamily properties and paying for their efficiency upgrades was laid out for participants in DOE’s Technical Assistance Program January 30, 2014 webinar on Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Housing . [Get the audio and presentations here. ]

Jennifer Somers (DOE/WAP) described the new DOE Multifamily building Tools and Work Quality Standards and their contribution to improving the predictability and quality of retrofit outcomes. DOE is seeking  owners and funders who will adopt these high standards for their  projects’ workforce.

 Mark Wolfe (Energy Programs Consortium, EPC) and Sandy Fazeli (National Association of State Energy Officials)  discussed the EPC report summarizing  the barriers: split incentives for landlords v. tenants, lack of data about energy use and performance, lack of easy access to financing, and the diversity of the US multifamily housing stock.

Luke Gebhard (TN. Department of the Environment and Conservation) and Amy Bunton (Pathways Lending) showcased the Energy Efficiency Loan Program which has a $50 million loan fund serving Tennessee with a flexible range of loan terms meeting different needs.

Kate Johnson (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, ACEEE) addressed ways SEOs and local governments can engage with utilities to support new and expanded multifamily energy efficiency programs such as:

  1. Identifying the ways existing utility incentives can be coordinated in state and local programs and marketed to building owners;
  2. Supporting utility  pilot programs targeting underserved sectors or unique subsectors of the multifamily market; 
  3. Encouraging and facilitating collaboration among utilities, their regulators, state housing finance agencies and building owner associations.  

(See the ACEEE reports for detailed suggestions: Scaling Up Multifamily Energy Efficiency Programs (2013) and Engaging Small to Mid-Size Lenders in the Market for Energy Efficiency Investment (2014).)

Dave Hepinstall (Association for Energy Affordability) listed upgrade technologies with lasting impact on the central systems of large buildings, like re-commissioning existing equipment with new  add-ons, as well as apartment upgrade opportunities like high efficiency direct vent furnaces and air conditioning. Based on his work in NY, CA and Ill, Hepinstall recommended collaborative program design options such as:

  1. When dealing with property management firms that have multiple buildings, stage measures in phases or perform a certain measure in multiple buildings at the same time.
  2. Require [or give strong incentives for] combining certain measures, such as energy management systems, advanced radiator valves, master venting and low-flow domestic water devices all in one package.
  3. Offer some measures at low or no-cost to owner and/or as requirement for subsidy of other job elements.
  4. As noted in our companion article, the Administration 2015 Budget asks for $15 million of the Weatherization funds to help finance low-income, multi-family building retrofits.   In theory, if easier financing is available, the other tools in the webinar’s packed ‘toolkit’ may get put to use in more places.


Funding Rural WAP: EOS Webinar is Now Online

The webinar recording of WAP Leveraging for Rural Housing held Dec. 17, 2013 is now available online.   Guest speaker Rebecca Cruger from the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) provided information many funding sources in rural markets  and  how-to’s for  navigating  RAC’s ever-expanding web resources.

If you missed our earlier webinar on weatherizing USDA-owned or assisted multifamily properties , you can find it here.  The DOE webinar on the  WAP-developed multi-family  WAP tools is also  on our site here.

Do you have webinar topic suggestions? Tell us your leveraging interests – we’ll hunt down some experts! , contact Madiana Mustapha at


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.

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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:

» FY 2015 Budget

» Experts Share Strategy for Multifamily Retrofits

»Funding Rural W.A.P.

»What’s my State’s 2014 WAP Allocation?

»WAP is Getting Tougher: What if my State Just Gives Up?


What’s my State’s 2014 WAP  Allocation?

PY 2013 Funds Update

More than a dozen states have partial funding either because their plans are under review at the Golden, Co. support office or because DOE has requested additional material.

WAP is Getting Tougher: What if my State Just Gives Up?

From time to time during adoption of the new quality assurance standards and the training for personnel  to implement them,  more than a few state and local program managers have been heard to mutter: “They aren’t paying  for a big enough team to get this all done!  Let me just run my  [utility, state, local, LIHEAP] programs and forget DOE!”

Being curious, we checked the regulation to see what happens if a grantee really ever did throw in the proverbial  towel.  The answer is here.

In short, local delivery agencies will have an invitation from DOE within 60 days with instructions on how to apply directly to Golden Support Office for their share of the state grant. What happens next?  Let’s hope we never find out, and that WAP remains a nationwide challenge and opportunity!

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Our Project Staff:

Meg Power
Project Manager

Madiana Mustapha

Project Coordinator

Rick Vasquez

Media 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."

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