Weatherization Benefits Homeowners and Renters During the Pandemic
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Weatherization helps homeowners save money by improving the energy efficiency and comfort of their homes. Weatherization has proven to be especially important during the pandemic when many homeowners and renters are home more of the time. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides qualifying homeowners with weatherization services during the pandemic and beyond.
Benefits of Weatherizing Your Home
The benefits of weatherizing go far beyond keeping homes warmer during the winter months. Weatherization benefits homeowners year round and reduces their overall cost of living.
- Weatherization lowers energy bills.
- Weatherization is vital during the pandemic as the energy savings offsets the cost of staying at home, using electricity more often.
- Weatherization reduces the heat or eat dilemma faced by many, and it reduces the need for food assistance.
- Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the energy burden. Energy efficiency initiatives like the ones GROW SD provides play a crucial role in reversing these inequities. Low-income households spend 16.3% of annual income on energy as opposed to 3.5% for others.
- Weatherization installs the latest energy saving measures that many older homes do not have.
- WAP lowers heating bills in a cold weather state by 30% on average, and saves money on cooling as well.
- Weatherization may lessen greenhouse gas emissions and stress on the power grid by reducing energy consumption as a whole.
- Weatherization improves indoor air quality that would otherwise affect long term health, aggravate sufferers of asthma and harm the at-risk population, especially those more at risk for COVID-19.
- WAP estimates that there is an average $514 decrease in medical expenses following weatherization due to improved air quality and ventilation. Residents also miss fewer days of work and school following weatherization.
- Weatherization and energy efficiency make a home more resilient to climate change and allow the home to effectively serve its owners for years to come.
- Having an energy efficient, safe and comfortable home is critical for seniors and medically at-risk individuals, especially during COVID-19 when so many are sheltering at home.
How it Works
Those in need of weatherization are encouraged to apply for our Weatherization Assistance Program. We offer both homeowner and renter weatherization assistance.
The GROW SD weatherization installers are trained to understand how a house is built to maintain a climate controlled environment. These professionals are able to offer solutions that can solve common problems in a home that cause drafts, leaks and high energy bills.
First, the GROW SD weatherization team conducts a home energy audit to start building a weatherization strategy that includes air sealing, insulation, moisture control and proper ventilation to keep a home as comfortable as it can be while maintaining low energy and utility bills. The weatherization team then performs cost effective repairs such as adding insulation in walls and attics, weather stripping doors and windows and repairing and updating furnaces and heating systems.
The GROW SD weatherization workforce is skilled and trained to deliver the best energy savings to eligible single family homes. The team even has extensive experience working on mobile homes. The weatherization team keeps up to date with the latest building science and energy efficiency technology to deliver the best energy improvements for clients.
During a time when it's important to take every precaution to stay safe and well, weatherization can help. In addition to protecting health, weatherization saves homeowners and renters an average of $283 a year in energy costs. NESDCAP has historically weatherized 7,650 homes for a total value of $25,894,636.
GROW South Dakota is a statewide non-profit organization that provides programs and loan products to advance housing, community and economic development. To learn more about how GROW SD can help you weatherize during the pandemic, visit www.growsd.org.