45 Years of Making Ohio Homes Warmer and Safer
Friday, October 29, 2021
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As chilly autumn temperatures set in around the state, and National Weatherization Day arrives tomorrow, a program helping Ohioans stay warmer in their homes is celebrating a milestone.
The Weatherization Assistance Program marks its 45th year of helping reduce the energy burden for low-income households across the country.
Beth Urban, chief operating officer of IMPACT Community Action Agency based in Columbus, said weatherization services include attic and wall insulation, energy-efficiency and safety tests, as well as home repairs and improvements.
"We replace outdated electrical; we can help replace some roofing, sometimes broken windows," Urban outlined. "So weatherization for us can encompass a lot more than just the insulation."
Urban noted the energy savings after the complete weatherization of a home is about $283 a year, and the Department of Energy estimates families who are able to better control their home's temperature can reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses by roughly $500.
Over 45 years, the Home Weatherization Assistance Program has weatherized more than seven million homes, and Urban emphasized it has been life-changing for some clients.
She shared the story of a woman who was facing bankruptcy, distraught at being unable to pay her $1,200 electric bill. Urban explained upon inspecting her home, crews discovered it had no insulation.
"By the time we insulated and weatherized her home, her monthly bill was down to just $200," Urban recounted. "We were able to save her home, to save her from bankruptcy, and also to make her home a safer place."
To qualify for the Home Weatherization Program, a household's income must be at 200% of the federal poverty limit, which is $53,000 for a family of four.
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