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Telling the Story of WAP

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has an important story to tell: Weatherization Works! Every day, WAP helps low-income families conserve energy, save money, and live in healthier, safer homes. Weatherization diagnostic tests can even save lives by identifying dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Combined savings for energy and non-energy benefits show that weatherization returns $2.51 for every $1 invested.

WAP is accountable to the public for responsibly investing our federal tax dollars. Through a public information campaign (PIC), you can ensure public understanding of the program, develop new opportunities and resources, and build alliances and community support.

WAP’s PIC raises awareness of the Weatherization Program and its many benefits – for individuals, the public, the environment, and local communities nationwide. Narratives or stories can bring WAP work, challenges, and successes to life. Stories are essential communication tools for helping the public, your partners, lawmakers, your potential funders, and other stakeholders understand how the WAP works and for whom it works.

Often, the people writing these stories at an organization are not specially trained and have to make time in their busy schedules to do so. To help you make these stories as effective as possible, the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) has created a series of tools to help. The guidelines that follow are intended to help with the challenging task of communicating the story of weatherization to others.

Research about how the public understands stories and narratives tells us a lot about how to choose approaches and write effectively. NASCSP, with the assistance of Economic Opportunity Studies, has distilled that research into this guide to writing a narrative as powerful as the actual events and concrete results. To download the entire WAP Storytelling Manual, please click here.