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New Habitat for Humanity weatherization program

 

January 31, 2012



Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh (HHGP) is introducing their newest program for homeowners in Allegheny County to help reduce energy bills.

Based upon national Habitat outcomes from weatherization, residents have saved between 12 percent-33 percent on utility bills. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh has opened for applications and will continue the weatherization program throughout the year.

Habitat has taken a whole-house approach to weatherization and can perform improvements to save on light, gas, and water bills for residents. Following are improvements under the weatherization program:

Level 1: weather stripping, caulking, adding or replacing door seals, programmable thermostats, installing water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators, cleaning radiators, providing HVAC systems filter replacements, blown-in insulation with baffles to ensure venting where needed, baseboard heaters and refrigerator coils, adding or replacing ventilation vans, installing CFL bulbs, dryer vent seals and CO detectors, and insulating attics, pipes and ductwork, basements and outer walls.

Level 2: replacement of windows and doors, installing or replacing components of water-saving toilets, ductwork and distribution systems, and Energy Star-rated refrigerator replacement.

HHGP is introducing the weatherization program to Allegheny County homeowners in an effort to meet an unprecedented need. The need for weatherization services far outpaces its provision through the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).

The DOE estimates more than 40 million households are eligible for weatherization assistance, but even with nearly $5 billion in stimulus funding, the administration was on pace to weatherize only 600,000 homes in FY 2011, leaving more than19 million homes in need of services.

With low-income families often spending more than one-third of their incomes on energy costs, HHGP is offering an affordable way for low and moderate income residents to take control of their utility bills throughout the year. Homeowners will be able to keep their homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Not only will residents save on their water, gas, and light bills year-round, but homeowners will make their homes safer and healthier. Replacing air filters, sealing leaks, installing CO detectors, etc. will ensure residents are providing a safer and healthier environment for their families, at an affordable cost.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh has four requirements to participate in the program:

Must own and occupy a home that needs and could benefit from short-term exterior or interior improvements;

Must meet income guidelines set by HFHGP;

Must occupy a home in Greater Pittsburgh area in Allegheny County and possess current homeowner's insurance; and,

Must be willing to make a minimal monthly payment.

In order to qualify, the family's annual gross income (before taxes) must be below 50 percent of the median income in Allegheny County. For example, if a family is comprised of 4 people, and they make less than $32,000, they would meet the income guidelines.

To apply, residents should contact Habitat for Humanity's Family Services Coordinator Daniel Webb at 412-351-0512 ext 10, email him at Dwebb@PittsburghHabitat.org or stop by the office at 212 Yost Blvd, Suite A, Pittsburgh, PA 15221 in the Braddock Hills Shopping Center.

 

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