Oct. 30, 2019: Governor Jay Inslee joins community action agencies, housing authorities and local governments across the state and nation in recognizing Oct. 30, 2019 as Weatherization Day. The annual proclamation kicks off a month-long effort to raise awareness of state programs and services that help low-income households save money on heating bills through energy efficiency and other home improvements.
Each year, Washington’s weatherization assistance program helps many households make it through the cold weather season – and the years ahead – by adding insulation, sealing cracks and making other improvements that reduce heat loss and save money on energy bills. In 2018-19, the program weatherized 3,148 eligible low-income households across the state.
“We continue to look for better ways to assist Washington residents who struggle with high heating bills and unhealthy air quality in their homes,” said Gov. Inslee. “As we move the state toward a more energy efficient and clean-fueled economy, low-income households must share in the benefits.”
“Investing in innovative approaches for creating more quality, affordable housing strengthens communities by helping residents at risk stay in their homes,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We are seeing how improving indoor air quality of these homes while making them more energy efficient can reduce rates of hospitalizations, saves residents and taxpayers money and helps vulnerable families be more resilient.”
The state’s Weatherization Plus Health and home rehabilitation loan programs help replace older, inefficient heating systems to help people save money on heating bills and improve indoor air quality, thereby helping them stay in their homes at a time when options for affordable housing are severely limited in many communities.
Commerce added these programs last year. Weatherization Plus Health helps create healthier homes, especially for young children and people living with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions. By 2021, the agency hopes to offer the service throughout the state. The home rehabilitation loan program helps rural homeowners who need to make basic improvements – such as repairing or replacing a leaky roof – making the home ready for weatherization assistance.
Reports show that the Weatherization Plus Health approach, which used new models of collaboration between the state-funded weatherization program and local community health resources, is showing promising results. The Pierce County Healthy Homes Case Study published earlier this year documented important improvements in respiratory disease control, quality of life and reductions in urgent care, emergency room visits and hospitalization of the medically vulnerable clients.
Contact: Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106