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6/24/2010 Vol. , Issue 5 Contact Us
QUALITY OF LIFE

Free Home Weatherization Help Available for Low-Income El Paso Individuals & Families
Reduce your energy bills (Both Gas and Electric)

City of El Paso Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

Do you want to save money every month? Have you considered reducing your monthly energy consumption as a way to increase your savings? If so, then you should check out one of the City’s newest programs -- The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). If you qualify, the program will be at no cost to you. Yes, you read correctly. The program is free to eligible homeowners and renters.  Now that’s a great deal worth considering!

So what exactly is the WAP?
The EP WAP is a federally-funded program that is administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) and the City of El Paso to assist low-income families (especiallythe elderly, people with disabilities, and children) reduce their household energy consumption by improving their dwelling’s energy efficiency. This is known as ‘weatherizing’ your home.

What is weatherization?
Weatherizationis the practice of protecting a building (such as a house) and its interior from the elements, particularly from sunlight, heat, cold, precipitation, and wind. This is usually accomplished by modifying and optimizing the energy efficiency of the home to reduce the home’s energy consumption, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Adding weather-stripping around doors
  • Applying window caulking
  • Replacement of certain types of irreparable or inefficient appliances
  • Replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Adding attic and wall insulation
  • Repairing broken window panes  

Why Should I Participate in the EP WAP?
Weatherizing your home can have several benefits for you and your family. For instance:

  • It’s free. There is no cost to you to have your home weatherized. All repairs, upgrades, or modifications made to your home will be performed by City-approved contractors.
  • You save money. By participating in this FREE program, the energy consumption of your home will be reduced. This means lower electricity and/or gas bills each month which, in turn, means more money in your pocket.
  • You improve the comfort of your home. It is a fact that children improve their school performance when they live in a warm, safe house. In addition, people in general are happier when living inside a comfortable residence.
  • It improves overall health and safety. Weatherizing your home decreases the risk of fire damage. It also increases the life of the home and helps improve the overall air quality of our local area. It can protect us by reducing harmful air emissions, and can mitigate carbon, lead, asbestos, and other environmental pollutants.

What kinds of residential units qualify for the program?

  • Single homes
  • Condominiums
  • Duplexes
  • Mobile Homes
  • Multi-family homes including apartment buildings with 5+ units
  • Rental Units

Can you tell me what is required to receive service? There are two conditions that must be met in order for you to qualify for this program: 1) your household income must be at or below 200% of the area’s poverty income level as established by the federal government; and 2) you must live within the city limits of El Paso.

Here is the income eligibility table at 200%:

2009 Poverty Level Guidelines

Family Size

200% Monthly

200% Annually

1

$1,805.00

$21,660.00

2

$2,428.33

$29,140.00

3

$3,051.67

$36,620.00

4

$3,675.00

$44,100.00

5

$4,298.33

$51,580.00

6

$4,921.67

$59,060.00

7

$5,545.00

$66,540.00

8

$6,168.33

$74,020.00

To qualify for this program, all household members employed must have a combined gross income that does not exceed the amounts listed in the table above.

You will also be required to provide the following:

  • Proof of income for each household member 18 years or older for the last 30 days;
  • Copies of current identification for each household member;
  • Copy of recent electric bill;
  • Copy of recent gas bill;
  • Signatures on all appropriate forms in the application packet.

How Do I Sign Up?
The process to register for the EP WAP is simple.

  • Fill out the application, available at www.ci.el-paso.tx.us/commdev/weatherization.asp;
  • Sign all appropriate forms in the application;
  • Bring or send completed application with required documents to the City of El Paso.

Once we receive your application, we will determine and confirm your eligibility by using the criteria listed in the application. It is important to note that in some cases we may require additional documentation to determine eligibility.

What happens after my application has been approved?
After eligibility has been established and your application has been approved, we will call you to schedule an appointment to conduct an initial assessment of your home, which will require a visit by one of our inspectors to conduct some tests. Based on those tests, our inspectors will determine what types of improvements will be made to your home to improve its energy efficiency. A work order will be developed and we will schedule a mutually-acceptable date when weatherization construction can begin. All repairs, upgrades, and/or modifications conducted to the home will be performed by City-approved contractors and all work will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may differ for each residential unit.

What improvements will be made to my home?
Improvements to the home are governed by two things: 1) an initial assessment of the home that will be conducted by the City of El Paso, and 2) the expenditure limit that has been imposed by the federal government per unit. The initial assessment will determine the weatherization improvement priorities of the home. Improvements made to the home will be based on that priority list, and the aggregate improvements cannot exceed $6,500 per unit, which includes costs for labor, materials and inspections. Participating homeowners should also be aware that the homeowner does not determine what improvements will be made to their home. All improvements, as mentioned earlier, will be dependent and determined by the initial assessment.

Here is a sample of allowable expenditures for your home under the EP WAP:

  • Installation of ceiling, wall, and floor insulation,
  • Replacement of appliances and heating and cooling units with energy efficient items,
  • Measures to reduce air filtration: replacement of doors, repairing of windows, repairing of holes, and caulking, etc.
  • Weatherization materials and labor for heating and cooling system tune-ups, repairs, modification, or replacements if such will result in improved energy efficiency.
  • New electronic thermostats (SMART thermostats)

So, you see, there is nothing to lose (except energy and spending waste) if you decide to participate in the EP WAP. In fact, there is much to gain if you do…savings and comfort. If you are interested in registering for the program, please download the application and follow the instructions contained in it.

We are ready to help you in your journey to get your home “WEATHERIZED”.

Please send or hand-deliver completed applications to:
City of El Paso
Department of Community and Human Development
Weatherization Assistance Program
2 Civic Center Plaza – 8th floor
El Paso, TX 79901

If you have questions about the application or the program, please call (915) 541-4244.




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