Gov. Inslee Proclaims October 30 Weatherization Day in Washington State
New “Weatherization Plus Health” adds assistance for families with asthma
Governor Inslee joins community action agencies, housing authorities and local governments across the state and nation in recognizing October 30, 2015 as Weatherization Day in Washington.
Washington’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps many households make it through the cold weather season – and the years ahead – by adding insulation, sealing cracks, and making other improvements that reduce heat loss and save money on energy bills.
About 2,250 low-income homes throughout the state will be weatherized this year. The program is funded through a partnership of the U.S. Department of Energy, the Bonneville Power Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington State, and private and public utilities. The utilities provide matching funds to the state’s investment.
This year Washington’s Weatherization Assistance Program is adding a new component called Weatherization Plus Health to serve low-income families struggling with asthma. The state is investing $4.3 million in this effort over the next two years.
Low-income families are more likely to have asthma, and children with asthma have the highest rates of hospitalization. In 2010, Washingtonians with asthma made 164,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms, and paid $73 million for asthma-related hospitalizations. Public funds paid for about 60% of these costs.
The Weatherization Plus Health program can help reduce the burdens of asthma for low-income families by reducing indoor asthma “triggers” like carpets, cockroaches, water damage, and mold. A recent national study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory showed that weatherization in homes with asthma reduced asthma emergency room visits significantly. When combined with homeowner education, Medicaid costs for asthma treatment can be reduced by over $400per year, per household.