October 30th marks annual Weatherization Day; celebrating 44 years of making homes more energy efficient, creating jobs

Elizabeth Warmka
October 30, 2020 / 2 mins read

During COVID-19 the Weatherization Assistance Program is more relevant than ever – providing cost-saving solutions for safe, healthy homes while creating jobs

ST PAUL, MINN. – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed October 30, 2020 as Weatherization Day in Minnesota. The Weatherization Assistance Program, the nation's largest residential energy efficiency program, was initiated by the U.S. Department of Energy in 1976 to help states and communities assist families with low incomes in having more energy-efficient, safe, and healthy homes.

The average American family spends more than $1,740 annually on utility bills, with some families in Minnesota seeing an energy burden of 20-25 percent of their income, a cost that is steadily rising and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Weatherization Assistance Program, using federal, state, local, and private dollars, benefits households and communities across the nation by providing cost-effective, energy-efficient modifications to homes, including insulation upgrades and more, occupied by eligible Americans.

Administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce in cooperation with the network of local service providers, community action agencies, non-profit organizations and tribal and local governments serving the entire state, this program has reduced the energy costs by an average of 15 percent in more than 49,000 homes since 2005, positively impacting more than 135,000 Minnesotans. The program also improves health, reduces health care costs, and creates jobs which could play a role in helping alleviate the unemployment and economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find a weatherization assistance program provider visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce at www.mn.gov/commerce or for help navigating the process reach out to a local Community Action agency, you can find a list of agencies at www.minncap.org/local-agencies.

FAST FACTS

Nationally:

  • Over $340 million in energy savings each year
  • Every $1 invested in weatherization returns over $4 in energy, health, and safety benefits
  • Clients save:
    • $283 average on utilities per year
    • 18% annual heating savings, 7% annual electric savings
    • $514 average on out-of-pocket medical expenses per year
  • Over 8,500 jobs supported by WAP
  • Over 7.4 million homes weatherized since the program began in 1976

Minnesota:

  • Reduces energy burden by 20-25%
  • Reduces energy costs by an average 15%
  • Over 49,000 homes and 135,000 Minnesotans impacted

ADDITIONAL INFO

Media Contact:

Elizabeth Warmka, MinnCAP, 651-245-2293 cell or elizabethwarmka@minncap.org