May 2014 Newsletter

Weatherization Plus News: Funding 2015 and more
May, 2014

The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter

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

Top Story

Update on Weatherization’s Federal Funding

As Congress begins to consider the 2015 Budget, DOE is working on the distribution of recent appropriations.  A number of states will run a combined 2013-2014 program, so that funding flow may be higher on a monthly basis in those states if the program runs for less than 24 months due to a late start.

FY 2013 funds were made available to grantees  last summer, but many state plans were further delayed in the review process as changes were required; some were submitted  late after new requirements or improvements were incorporated. EOS has learned that, while a few 2013 plans are not yet submitted, nearly all states that applied already have or will soon have their funding.   

The FY 2014 DOE program notice with grant guidance and funding allocations went to states on 3/27/14 and is found at the waptac site.  The state plan development process, which includes planning for instituting new Quality Work Plans  is well underway.

Congressional Appropriators are still preparing to report Energy and Water Bills to the floor of the respective bodies over the next two months. In a Senate hearing, Senator Susan Collins of Maine praised the program and questioned Energy Secretary Moniz about the Administration proposal to use $15 million in program funds for a multi-family financing demonstration. See the brief exchange here [see  minute 58:30 to 59:50].

The variable and unpredictable flow of funds from the Treasury to the community level is both  a delivery challenge and a political challenge. Readers should follow the national advocacy organizations’ reports closely and become deeply involved in collaborating with the state planning process.

Tell Us About the Impact  On Leveraged Programs

In some states with delayed WAP funding, leveraged partnerships that depend on co-delivery with WAP services have been challenged.  EOS wants to know about  the impact in your programs and how they adapted to the changed WAP schedule. Please tell us the answer in an email by clicking this link "How funding delays and cuts affected our leveraged program” - or use this same link to give us your contact information so we can call and learn your adaptations and issues.

Tell us: what was the nature and length of the cut or delay? What was the impact on your utility program or other partnerships? Did you change the way you deliver those initiatives or the rules for the leveraged resources? If so, what is the new delivery model or schedule? Did your program fall short on leveraged completions?  As WAP resources shrink, is the partnership in peril? Re-designed? More flexible than ever? In general, what does the future look like for your utility or other private partnerships? How could the WAP federal program make them easier?

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New video!
"Talking Leveraging”: Conversations with Illinois Commissioner John T. Colgan

Illinois regulatory commissioner, the Honorable John T. Colgan, joined EOS’ Meg Power to discuss how and why it is essential for community action and Weatherization leaders to engage in energy policy advocacy. John Colgan was, for many years, one of community action’s most respected organizers and most expert advocates regarding food, energy and housing policy.  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, himself a former state consumer advocate, appointed him to the IL Commerce Commission; the ICC regulates not only all utilities and telecom but also transportation.

In the first of our short videos Colgan tells about his own evolution from family support worker to policy advocate and how he learned the dynamic power of collective action. (Watch video )

The next covers issues advocates should anticipate.
 (Watch video)

A more extended conversation [9 min.]  tells energy affordability advocates how regulators make decisions that depend on evidence from their hearings; he explains  the essential role of participants [also called interveners] in those hearings that precede all commission rulings. He also describes the Illinois advocates’ victory when a Percent of Income Payment Plan (PIPP ) became law and the reasons utilities now support it.  See more material on PIPP, a total affordability policy, here.     (Watch video)

One short clip shows Colgan listing the downside of costly utility renewable energy requirements and suggesting strategies for protecting vulnerable energy consumers from the higher costs through innovative partnerships with environmental advocates for clean energy.(Watch video) Similar issues have been covered in reports of AARP and other consumer advocacy groups.

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How to Leverage Re$ource$ within the Changing Weatherization Landscape

At the 2014 Affordable Comfort Inc. (ACI)  Conference themed, “Creating a Better America,” in Detroit,  EOS Project Coordinator, Madiana Mustapha, presented leveraging strategies to take advantage of today’s opportunities for leveraging weatherization resources. In addition to highlighting  benefits of a strategic leveraging approach, the presentation summarizes our research that found  $710 million in leveraged 2013 funding was spent together with WAP; almost half came from rate-payer financed programs.

She described  emerging sources of loans or credit enhancement for owners of multi-family buildings who are financing retrofits; this information can be part of the marketing approach Weatherizers take to building owners when seeking to undertake the job using the owner’s funding to cover the WAP Agency services and materials.  


Click here
for presentation slides.

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OPPORTUNITIES

Seeking CEO for a New Home Performance Organization

This looks like an important job to us. Excerpts of the announcement:

Home Performance Coalition -Chief Executive Officer (CEO) - Washington, DC
Home Performance Coalition invites applications for the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This is a full time regular position.

Background:
Home Performance Coalition is a new organization resulting from the merger of Affordable Comfort, Inc., and the National Home Performance Council. The mission of Home Performance Coalition (HPC) is to encourage implementation of comprehensive improvements in new and existing homes for increased home energy performance while ensuring the sustainability and health of homes.

Position: 
The role of the CEO is to design, develop and implement strategies for HPC in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner so that HPC is known as the pre-eminent organization in the home performance/weatherization space and so that the demand for home performance services grows nationally.

Get more details

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A Worthwhile Multi-family Efficiency Event

If you are interested in strategies for attracting owners of multi-family affordable housing using your team to deliver the project, we recommend you try to attend one of the upcoming four conferences on the Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Initiative (PTEE) of the National Housing and Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA). We recommend this content-rich event because, in just one day, it delved into assessing building portfolio needs, financing tools, navigating regulatory barriers, resident training and operating and maintenance issues. It is part of an initiative financed by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

They are aimed at efficiency professionals as well as multi-family building owners and managers who are learning about portfolio-wide energy savings. A Weatherization provider would learn practical information about the interests and concerns of these decision makers and about how to leverage that interest into projects.

We attended the first in Philadelphia. It showcased absorbing, in-depth case studies and replicable retrofit models along with unusually frank and well-informed participant debate. The owners attend were all seriously investigating whether the promise of energy efficiency applies to their property and how to assess the tools and the workforce that uses those tools.

Future conferences are in: Denver: July 14, 2014, Minneapolis: TBA, September, Atlanta: TBA, October, Indianapolis: TBA, January 2015. Get details at www.housingonline.com.


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FROM OUR TOOLKIT 

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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:
energy_leveraging_news@opportunitystudies.org

 

In This Issue:

» Update on Weatherization’s Federal Funding

» On video!
Talking Leveraging” : Conversations with Illinois Commissioner John T. Colgan

» How to Leverage Re$ource$ within the Changing Weatherization Landscape

» Tell Us About the Impact  On Leveraged Programs

 Opportunities:

» Seeking CEO for a New Home Performance Organization

» A worthwhile Multi-family Efficiency Event




 


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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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