Due to a large influx of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) funds, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) decided to perform a survey measuring the Weatherization Assistance Program’s (WAP) impact of services on participants and their satisfaction with the result. This survey provides a basis for future evaluation and sheds light on areas of potential improvement as well as data critical to the successful expansion of the Pennsylvania Recovery Act WAP program.
DCED received 7,044 completed survey forms from households weatherized between July 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011. Significant findings include:
- Over 75% of participants were pleased with improvements to their homes, contact with local agencies, and the quality of work completed.
- Over the survey period, participant satisfaction either remained steady or increased.
- Employees got the highest marks, with the highest satisfaction levels in the areas of “friendly employees” and “installers of the energy efficient products.”
More than three-quarters of respondents strongly agreed that they had a good experience, that the local agency understood their needs, that the contact with the local agency was excellent, and that the improvements will make their homes more comfortable and more energy efficient.
Consumer education is a critical component of any weatherization program. Nearly all survey respondents (98%) indicated that they changed their behavior due to weatherization services. The actions taken most often include turning off lights and fans when not in the room, setting the thermostat lower at certain times of day, and doing fuller loads of laundry.
Handwritten comments show the impact and success of the program, with submissions like, “I was very pleased with the work that was done. They also took the time to fix things I did not know about. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to do the work. They were friendly and very professional. Thank you so much.”
Performing surveys such as the one by DCED provides invaluable feedback to states and local agencies to ensure services are adequately and fully provided, and that participants are happy with the work done. We applaud the Pennsylvania DCED for their proactive approach to evaluating WAP performance and their excellent program.
You can read the full report here.