“Forming Partnerships to make the homes of low-income people more affordable through weatherization”
NEW PROGRAM FOCUS!!
The Washington State legislature in 2015 expanded its investment in healthy, safe and energy efficient low-income weatherization to include improvements that help children and adults combat asthma. This new program initiative is called Weatherization Plus Health.
Weatherization Plus Health combines energy and cost saving weatherization improvements in low-income homes with measures that reduce health risks and health costs for vulnerable families. It is targeted to improve the home environments for children and adults with asthma.
Washington State is investing $15 million from 2015 – 2017 to provide weatherization in all counties of the state through its Matchmaker program. Matchmaker matches state dollars with utility and other programs’ investments in weatherization. This biennium $4.3 million is being reserved in Matchmaker for the new Weatherization Plus Health initiative.
Background on Matchmaker Program
The Matchmaker Program increases resources for low-income home weatherization by leveraging local matching dollars and resources from utilities, rental owners and other sources. Washington communities receive Matchmaker funds when they provide a dollar-for-dollar match. The Matchmaker Program was created in 1987 to allocate over $13 million in oil overcharge settlement funds over a period of several years. The oil overcharge funds have since been depleted. However, the Legislature has authorized the use of state capital funds each biennium since 1991.
This program has helped to form lasting partnerships among local weatherizing agencies, utilities and other match providers. Weatherization services include:
Ceiling, wall, floor and duct insulation.
Diagnostically driven air sealing (such as caulking, weather-stripping and broken window replacement) to close gaps where the home's heat can escape.
Heating system efficiency modifications.
All this is performed according to established technical specifications and applicable building codes.
The dollar-for-dollar match requirement of the program doubles the value of the state capital funds spent on low-income weatherization. In addition to the positive economic impact on local communities inherent in the business of weatherization, home energy use is reduced, on average, 25 percent in the homes weatherized under this program.