Weatherization Plus 2015
Since 1999, the Weatherization Assistance Program has engaged in a strategic process to outline 5-year goals for the program to achieve. The initial strategic planning effort resulted the Weatherization Plus: Opportunities for the 21st Century report and established the Weatherization Plus initiative. Weatherization Plus also reconvened a committee in 2005.
The goal of Weatherization Plus is to achieve significantly greater energy cost savings for more low-income households and to increase Weatherization’s contribution to the economic and environmental health and sustainability of the nation’s communities.
The changes within Weatherization enacted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) brought even a greater flexibility and opened new possibilities of additional energy efficiency and renewable energy work that is being accomplished by the Weatherization Network while they are delivering Weatherization services.
As the Recovery Act comes to an end and the Weatherization moves into the next generation of providing efficiency and renewable energy improvements for millions of families across the country, the time has come to identify a new strategic roadmap to guide Weatherization through 2015 and beyond.
A Weatherization Plus 2015 strategy will:
- Ensure Weatherization is positioned to leverage necessary resources to meet the needs of our clients that are beyond the Weatherization scope;
- Position the Weatherization Grantee and Subgrantee networks to improve services to the existing market and to expand to markets beyond those income-eligible households;
- Clearly convey the short and long-term benefits of the Weatherization and the impact it makes on the local, regional, state, and national levels.
- Institute consistent delivery of quality Weatherization services to the households we serve.
Weatherization Plus 2015 Committee Activities
In December 2011, DOE convened members of the Weatherization Network to serve on the Weatherization Plus 2015 Committee. The committee’s directive is to strategically evaluate the Weatherization Assistance Program and determine how services are delivered, and solicit feedback on the future direction of the Program by:
- Consulting the network.
- Determining current practices.
- Identifying best practices, by various climatic and other considerations.
- Providing various analyses.
- Developing a state-of-the-program report.
The ultimate goal of the committee is to develop a strategic plan to guide the Weatherization Assistance Program into the post-Recovery Act era.
In early 2012, the Weatherization Plus 2015 Committee engaged in in-depth discussions focusing on four key areas of the program that are critical to the future of the Program – Quality of Services, Communications, New and Expanding Markets, and Leveraging.
Consistent Quality of Services
The consistent delivery of quality services is the most critical piece of the Weatherization Plus 2015 strategy because it is the foundation upon on which we build everything else. Therefore, it is important to identify ideas, best practices, and tactics to create a comprehensive and consistent quality assurance process that all weatherization fieldwork will be completed and in turn, help eliminate poor quality work and reduce the frequency of serious problems found in the field.
Communications is an important element within the Weatherization Plus 2015 strategy. With advances in weatherization and energy efficiency technologies and the growth of social media outlets, it is extremely important to clearly and concisely communicate the positive direct and indirect benefits (economic, financial, energy, health and safety, environmental) Weatherization creates for its clients and the communities it serves.
New and Expanding Markets
For Weatherization to strengthen and mature, it is important for the Program to expand its existing markets along with establishing new markets to take advantage of the WAP network’s wealth of specialized expertise, knowledge, and resources. Key existing and potential new markets, such as military housing, home inspections, fee for service, and new utility programs, will be identified and vetted through the Network to determine what are the best opportunities to pursue.
Leveraging is about using other resources to continue to do the work we are doing – to weatherize more low-income homes and save more energy.
For Weatherization to expand and mature, the network needs to identify new funding sources and strategies to help local weatherization agencies diversify their funding portfolios.
Community Efficiency builds upon the established WAP structure and will incorporate other resources, such as carbon reduction and credits, sustainable community initiatives, and health and safety, to create a comprehensive approach to provide quality energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy sources to everyone within a community. Weatherization becomes the conduit to plan and manage energy efficient communities.
The short-term goal for the Weatherization Plus 2015 initiative is to develop a draft strawman report over the Summer 2012 that will incorporate the goals, objectives and action steps for each Subcommittee.
For more information about this effort, please contact:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Simonson Management Services (SMS)