Weatherization 101

What is weatherization?

Weatherization is the practice of protecting a building from the elements and modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency. The process includes, but is not limited to:

  • Air sealing to reduce infiltration
  • Attic Insulation
  • Sidewall Insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Pipe and/or Duct Insulation
  • Energy Related Repairs (lights, appliances, heating system replacements)

What is the U.S. Weatherization Program (WAP)?

The U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 with the mission of helping low-income families reduce long-term energy consumption and costs. 

“To reduce heating and cooling costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.”

-US DOE WAP Mission Statement

Through this program, weatherization service providers install energy efficiency measures in the homes of qualifying homeowners free of charge. The DOE provides funding and technical guidance to the states, but the individual states run their own programs and set rules for issues such as eligibility. The individual states select service providers, which are usually nonprofit agencies that serve families in their communities, and review their performance for quality.

How does WAP work in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Community Services  which contracts with a network of social service agencies, mostly community action programs, throughout the state. (For a list of community action programs that provide WAP, click here.) Priority of service is given to those households with elderly, disabled, children (6 and under), LIHEAP (Fuel Assistance) high-energy users, and Native Americans. Some residents who receive WAP work may also be eligible for Heating System Repair & Replacement Program (HEARTWAP) .

Service providers throughout the state who adminster WAP work in conjunction with utility service providers. Residents who are eligible for WAP are also eligible for utility efficiency services, which provide a substantial supplement to WAP services. Bay State Gas, Berkshire Gas, Blackstone Gas, Cape Light Compact, Fall River GasNational Grid, North Attleboro Gas, NSTAR, Western Mass Electric and UNITIL all fund energy efficiency programs.

**RESIDENTS: For information on qualifying for WAP, click here.**

Massachusetts Weatherization Assistance Program Resources

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

For a list of MASSCAP members, click here.

For information on who provides Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP), the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) or the Heating System Replacement and Repair Program (HEARTWAP), refer to the Cold Relief Brochure.

The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Community Services

Below are the links for the LIHEAP, WAP and HEARTWAP Program overviews:

Massachusetts Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) Overview

Massachusetts Heating System Repair & Replacement (HEARTWAP) Overview

Low-Income Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Overview

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