|To reduce energy costs and alleviate high energy burdens for low-income families:|
The benefits of energy conservation and weatherization to the individual households treated and to society as a whole have been well documented nationally and in Pennsylvania (PA). The following sections detail some of the documented benefits.
It should be noted that data received from the national research related to the benefits of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is based on the program prior to changes allowed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Chief among these changes is the increased maximum average cost per household, from $2,500 to $6,500.
In Pennsylvania, the WAP program has not yet been independently evaluated. However, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Low-Income Usage Reduction Program (LIURP) has been evaluating similar data for over 20 years, and, due to similarities in program design, evaluation results may be used as a substitute for WAP.
- Total fuel consumption is 23%. *
- Low Income families will save an average of $775 in reduced first-year energy costs; at current energy prices, savings will continue for years. **
- Lower household energy costs will lead to improved bill paying for treated households which reduces household arrearages and bad dept. **
- Households reported their experiences with the PA WAP to be satisfactory. Specifically, well over 90% of program participants report the following: they are satisfied or very satisfied with the channges made to their home, they believe improvements will help make their home more comfortable and more efficient, they feel good about the quality of work, and they feel like the entire weatherization experience was a good one. ***
- For every $1 invested in WAP, Weatherization Services return $2.73 in energy and non-energy related benefits. *
- Weatherization creates 52 direct jobs and 23 indirect jobs for every $1 million invested. *
- WAP weatherization measures reduce national energy demand by the equivalent of 18 million barrels of oil per year. *
- Weatherization measures reduce arrearages, thereby reducing collection activity, and costs as well as reducing bad debt paid by other ratepayers. **
- Weatherization reduces the cost of capital for construction for utilities, avoiding the cost of fuel purchasing for future generations while reducing peak demand growth. **
- Weatherization creates non-energy benefits, including: improved health, safety and comfort levels; increased property value; reduced incidence of fire; increased comfort for occupants; a reduction in homelessness and mobility; and extended lifetime of affordable housing. **
* National Research NASCP Weatherization Facts: http://www.nascsp.org/Weatherization/635/29/The-Weatherization-Assistance-Program.aspx
** PA PUC LIURP Research
*** Franklin and Marshall WAP Feedback Survey