Weatherization : What to Expect
After you have applied for the Weatherization Assistance Program, staff in the Weatherization Department in our administrative office in Lewiston are notified so they can review the application for accuracy and completeness. If information is missing or needs to be updated, our staff may contact your local office to notify them of the issue. If the issue may be corrected through the mail, our staff may contact you directly.
If the application is complete and all the information is correct, our staff check to see whether your home has already been weatherized.
If your home has already been weatherized, in most cases we cannot proceed with the Weatherization Assistance Program because further cost-effective weatherization measures are not likely. However, the Weatherization Department also administers other grants that may be able to assist you with other needs (such as heating emergencies or other retrofit needs).
Once we know which programs may be used to serve your household, Weatherization staff assign priority to your application. During the prioritization process, our staff review your household’s last 12 months' energy usage and costs. In most cases, this contributes the greatest amount of priority to your application. We also take into consideration characteristics about your family, such as age, disability, and household income.
However, if you have a heating emergency, this is the highest possible priority for a Weatherization Assistance Program application. Once you’ve completed an application with your local office, if you did not receive notification letting you know our department is aware of your emergency situation, please contact us and we will process your application within a few hours. Provided funding is available, we will then forward your emergency needs to a heating contractor to address as their schedule permits.
Application priority level can have a considerable effect on the amount of time it takes for your household to be served, and wait times do vary for each household based upon priority level.
After your applications is prioritized, it is added to our application pool. Applications remain active in our application pool for one year from the date the application was income-certified before they expire and need to be recertified.
Please note, demand for the Weatherization Assistance Program is so great, less than five percent of all households who apply will receive weatherization services that year. It is not uncommon for an application with lower priority to expire before we are able to serve the participant, while higher priority applications may be served within a relatively short period of time.
As funding permits, your application will be selected from the application pool based on the number of priority points it was awarded, the number of applications available per county, and which available funding sources your household is eligible for at the time your application is selected.
When your application is selected from the applicant pool, a certified Energy Auditor from our Weatherization Department will attempt to contact you to schedule a Home Energy Audit.
Due to the volume of calls they must make in order to keep their schedule full, our Energy Auditors will attempt three times in a given week to contact you before returning your application to the applicant pool. If we cannot reach your household after three separate weekly attempts, we will try to contact you by mail to notify you that we have not been able to reach you by phone. If your telephone number has changed and you have applied for our program, it is very important to notify us of the change.
Once the Energy Auditor visits your home, he will test the performance of your home’s heating system, water heater, and measure how air-tight your home is. During the energy audit, he will also examine the insulation levels in your attic, walls, and crawl space.
The Energy Auditor will also note the condition and measurements of your existing windows and doors. Doors and windows are not necessarily being measured for replacement; the main reason they are measured is because they gain and lose heat differently than walls.
After returning to the office, the Energy Auditor inputs the information about your home into our energy audit program to determine what weatherization measures to have installed. The software then provides information to the auditor about whether each proposed measure is cost-effective enough to complete. Any weatherization measure being installed requires enough future energy savings to pay for its cost. This means that some measures, such as window and door replacements, commonly cannot be performed in every home. Each home is unique, so no two homes receive exactly the same weatherization measures.
After the Energy Auditor has determined which measures are cost effective to perform on your home, he notifies the contractors that have been assigned to your home, and submits your file to the Weatherization Coordinator.
Heating system, water heater and ventilation work is performed by approved contractors. If a heating system or water heater repair is prescribed, we can assign an approved contractor through rotation. The contractor will then call the household directly and set up an appointment to perform the repairs.
If a heating system or water heater replacement is prescribed, generally we must request bids from three contractors before we can have the replacement installed. Each of the contractors will call you directly to set the appointments to bid the job. The winning bidder will then call you to schedule the work.
Most other weatherization measures, such as the installation of insulation and air sealing, are performed by crews from our agency. The Weatherization Coordinator will contact you to schedule a time for the crew to work on your home.
Once the work is done on your home, a certified Quality Control Inspector from our Weatherization Department will inspect the quality of the work. The Quality Control Inspector may arrive on the last day the work is done on your home, or he may contact you and schedule a time to visit your home at a later date.
If permits were required on any of the work done on your home, an inspector from the issuing government authority will also contact you to inspect the work.
Some jobs are also selected for inspection by our state monitors so that they may verify the quality of our work. In this instance, CAP will contact you and arrange a time for the monitoring team to visit your home.