Study: home weatherization programs do pay off
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The results of a U.S. Department of Energy study demonstrate that weatherization provides cost-effective energy savings and health and safety benefits to American families.
The Energy Department released a major national evaluation of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Led by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the peer-reviewed evaluation conducted detailed analysis of the WAP's Program Year 2008 (Retrospective Evaluation) and operations during the 2010 year of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act Evaluation).
The Retrospective Evaluation of a year in which 35 million households were eligible for WAP services is comprised of 20 individual studies to provide a comprehensive picture of clients, housing stock and service providers. The program weatherized 98,000 units in 2008, resulting in program wide energy-cost savings of $340 million. The installed measures delivered substantial energy reductions and energy-cost savings to clients. For every dollar invested in weatherization, $4.50 was generated in energy and non-energy benefits.
Additional findings of the Retrospective Evaluation include:
- Approximately 8,500 jobs were created or retained.
- Single-family homes saved an average of $283 annually on energy costs.
- Carbon reduction of 2.2 million metric tons.
The Recovery Act Evaluation provides insight into the unique period, which increased job creation and resulted in tremendous economic benefits across the country. The program weatherized more than 330,000 units in 2010, a total energy savings of $1.1 billion. The weatherization of a single-family home during this period saved an average of $223 in annual energy costs.
Additional findings of the Recovery Act Evaluation include:
- Approximately 28,000 jobs were created or retained.
- Carbon reduction of 7.4 million metric tons.
- Approximately $14,000 in health and household-related, non-energy benefits realized per single-family household.
The WAP operates under the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Evaluations of the program provide valuable insight into the opportunities for policy and practice enhancement that will allow WAP to build on its successful history of improving families' lives while saving energy.
These evaluations are the most comprehensive, detailed analysis of the WAP and its operations conducted to date. The findings demonstrate WAP is a substantially sound investment. The only federally supported residential efficiency deployment program, the WAP network has used the knowledge and technological advancements that it has fostered over its 40 year history to move the entire home performance industry forward.
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Companies: U.S. Department of Energy