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Vasquez: Weatherization can slash energy bills for seniors


It’s been an unusually cold winter in Arizona, and seniors and low-income families are the most impacted by the low temperatures and freeze warnings. Now, with spring and summer temperatures on the way, we are fortunate that we can prepare for the impacts of weather through the Arizona Department of Housing Weatherization Program.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the approval of the Arizona Department of Housing’s (ADOH) updated Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) plan.

The DOE is expected to release 35% of total funding to the state as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which amounts to $47 million. Arizona’s WAP is among the first WAP plans in the nation to be approved — which is DOE’s most extensive residential energy retrofit program.

This funding is a big win for Arizona seniors and low-income families who can benefit from the Weatherization Assistance Program.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the WAP allows states to retrofit thousands of low-income homes to make them healthier and energy efficient while lowering utility bills. WAP retrofit funding is designed to address the “whole home,” including installing insulation, updating heating and cooling systems, upgrading electrical appliances, and taking other common-sense actions that will make homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer with less energy usage and lower costs.

“Home energy retrofits and upgrades — like electrification, heat pumps, LED lighting, insulation, and sealing up leaks — can slash monthly energy bills for families and improve the air we breathe,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, who was in Arizona in January to discuss the WAP Program and transformative investments in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Now is the time to take advantage of BIL funding that will reduce your energy costs by increasing the energy efficiency of your home while ensuring your health and safety.

Learn more about how you can qualify for the Weatherization Assistance Program at housing.az.gov/general-public/weatherization-assistance-program.

Both homeowners and renters (with landlord permission) who meet income qualifications are eligible to apply.

Dora L. Vasquez is executive director for the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans.