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Program offers assistance in weatherizing homes

Today is National Weatherization Day, highlighting steps that can be taken to make buildings more energy-efficient, reducing the costs for heating and cooling.

As part of this, the Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency is reminding the region about the federal Weatherization Assistance Program.

The U.S. Department of Energy created the program in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. WAP has become the nation’s largest whole-house home energy upgrade program. Every $1 invested in WAP, yields $4.50 in benefits, including energy savings and the health and safety of individuals and families.

Under the program, DICSA has weatherized 1,315 homes in Iron County and 2,015 homes in Dickinson County since 1989, at no cost to the home owner. Rental units also are eligible with landlord approval and 25% contribution on costs.

Weatherization measures include major bypasses, duct sealing/repair/replacement, duct insulation, attic insulation, setback (smart) thermostat, knee wall insulation and exterior wall insulation. Reducing electric baseload, such as refrigerator replacement and compact fluorescent lamps. Installing health and safety measures — smoke detectors, clothes dryer vents, combustion appliance testing/repair/replacement.

A recent DICSA survey reported 93% of respondents considered the Weatherization Assistance Program to be excellent. One individual remarked, “I would not have been able to afford this work. I’m sincerely grateful for all that you have done for me!”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, having an energy-efficient, safe and comfortable home is critical for seniors and medically vulnerable individuals sheltering in place. WAP agencies have quickly adapted, implementing new training and safety protocols to ensure they can continue to deliver weatherization safely.

For information on eligibility and details on the program, call 906-774-2256. DICSA also seeks general contractors for WAP.

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