One of the best ways of reducing the high cost of your energy bills for heating and cooling is to weatherize your home or apartment. This involves adding insulation, sealing cracks, upgrading windows, and taking other steps to minimize energy loss.
The US government's Weatherization Assistance Program is available to conduct home energy audits, and to weatherize your home. Weatherization typically costs $2500, and the government foots the bill. As a result, energy bills are cut, on average, by one-third, and can mean savings of hundreds of dollars a year. Most assistance is provided to low-income families, but some is available for higher-earning families as well.
Here's how to find out if your home is eligible for weatherization funding.
Identify your state program
Contact your state or local agency handling weatherization assistance --you'll find a list of them in the resources section. You may want to read a bit about the program first, to see if you're likely to be eligible (again, use the resources provided)
Submit an application
Applications are pretty simple, and usually take only about 20 minutes to fill out. You'll have to include proof of income with your submission. For many states, submissions are handled in person, at a local office.
The details of applying differ somewhat from state to state, so make sure to discuss the actual application process with your state contact. Other jurisdictions, such as Washington DC, also have individual programs.
If you are eligible, your weatherization agency puts you on a waiting list, but you will hear back from them eventually. Depending on the season, the amount of funding available, the demand for energy audits, and other factors, it can be a while before you hear back on your application.
Schedule an energy audit
Once you are contacted, schedule a professional energy consultation for an energy audit and an analysis of your energy bills
The energy audit will identify the best steps to take to minimize energy loss in your home. The recommendations can range from simple sealing of cracks or additional insulation, to upgrading of windows, furnaces and other home equipment.
Follow up by scheduling the actual weatherization work. Your state program contact and energy audit personnel can assist you in identifying contractors who work with the weatherization grants program.
Enjoy a more comfortable home with significantly lower energy bills.
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