CAO’s Home Weatherization Assistance Program (HWAP) has been operating since 1978 when the U.S. Department of Energy decided to focus on home energy savings as an integral part of the nation’s conservation strategy. It is a federally-funded, low-income, residential energy efficiency service that reduces energy use of qualified households throughout the state. With funds from the Department of Energy and the State of Ohio, the CAO helps low-income residents make their homes more energy-efficient, ensuring that less of their monthly income is spent on heating costs.
The average weatherized home saves about 19 to 42 percent on fuel usage. Each house undergoes an initial inspection to determine what is needed to make the structure energy efficient, and then a work order is written. Before any work is started, a furnace inspection and tune-up are performed by a staff person specifically trained for this purpose. If the furnace or heating unit is deemed unsafe or needs work that is beyond the scope of HWAP, the weatherization work is delayed until the customer can address the problem.
After all HWAP work is completed, a final inspection is made by a field supervisor to assure that all work meets service standards. HWAP has received numerous awards over the years in recognition of its emphasis on work quality, production, and service to clients. All staff members receive ongoing training in state–of-the-art techniques for home energy conservation. The service is free to eligible homeowners and renters. Eligibility is based on income (at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level).
Recipients of SSI or TANF are automatically eligible. Applications are accepted at 2nd & Elm Street during normal business hours, and outreach is available for anyone who is unable to apply in person. Highest priority is given to elderly and handicapped applicants.