Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program (LIWAP)

Weatherization Program

What is Weatherization?

In 1977, The Missouri Department of Natural Resources responded to the energy crisis of the early 1970s, establishing the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program (LIWAP) in the Division of Energy. On August 28, 2013, the division was moved to the Department of Economic Development by an executive order signed by Governor Jay Nixon.  The program provides cost-effective energy-efficient home improvements to Missouri's low income households, especially the elderly, children, those with physical disadvantages, and others hit hardest by high utility costs. The program aims to lower utility bills and improve comfort while ensuring health and safety. Today, weatherization is the nation's largest residential energy efficiency program.

Why Weatherize?

Home heating is a high-cost basic necessity. Americans spent $231 billion in 2010 on residential energy according to a 2010 Oak Ridge National Laboratory study. Low income households spend nearly 14 percent of their total annual income on energy costs. Other households spend only 3 percent of their annual income, on average, on energy costs. Low income families often cut back on other necessities to pay their energy bills. For people with low incomes, the decision to pay the utility bill may mean deciding between being warm in the winter and eating complete meals or having prescription medication. Other low income people live in older homes that may not have insulation or may have older, less efficient appliances. LIWAP is a long-lasting solution to these problems.

Households that have received weatherization services are better able to pay utility bills and reduce debt. A home that has been weatherized can reduce average annual fuel usage per dwelling by 35 percent for the typical low income home. Weatherization allows for a reduced burden on utility assistance providers, and the energy savings achieved through weatherization allow for the program to be cost effective.1

For every $1 invested in the program, Weatherization returns $2.51 to the household and society.1

  • $1.80 is returned in reduced energy bills
  • $0.71 is returned to ratepayers, households, and communities through:
    • Increased local employment
    • Reduced uncollectible utility bills
    • Better health and safety
      • Reduces heat-related illness and death
      • Reduces risk of death from home fires due to utility disconnection

How to Apply for Assistance

Household Income Limit
Size of Family Unit Income
1               $23,340
2               $31,460
3               $39,580
4               $47,700
5               $55,820
6               $63,940
7               $72,060
8               $80,180
Each additional member                $8,120

To apply for assistance, clients should contact their local weatherization agency.

The agency will ask the clients to complete the appropriate forms, including income documentation to verify eligibility. Once the client is verified as eligible, an auditor from the agency will conduct an energy audit of the home to determine what steps will produce the greatest energy savings. The next step is for the agency crew or contractor to install the energy efficient measures on the home. After the weatherization of the home is complete, a quality control inspector will examine the home to ensure the quality of work and completeness. The Division of Energy monitors the work of the agencies to ensure state and federal guidelines are followed.

 

Weatherization Program Facts

The Division of Energy administers federal funds to a statewide network of 19 local weatherization agencies. Allocations to these agencies are based on the percentage of the state's total low-income households within each service area. The agencies provide weatherization services to eligible clients, as well as training and guidance. Newspaper, radio, television, utility bill stuffers and other advertising methods are used to publicize the services. The program saves clients dollars and stimulates the state and local economy. The agencies use their own crews or contract the work to area businesses. Most products are purchased from state and regional manufacturers. Indirectly, through an economic multiplier effect, weatherization funds are used and reused, stimulating the state's businesses, economy and creating jobs.

  • Since 1977, nearly 180,000 Missouri homes have been weatherized through the LIWAP
  • Weatherization reduces residential and power plant emissions of carbon dioxide by 2.65 metric ton/year per home1
  • Weatherization decreases national energy consumption by the equivalent of 24.1 million barrels of oil annually1
  • Weatherization saves, on average, $437 per house in heating and cooling costs annually at current prices1

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) Accomplishments

  • Approximately 22,000 homes weatherized with Recovery Act funding
  • More than 585 Missouri jobs were created or retained with Recovery Act funding
  • Nationally, more than 10,388 jobs have been created from Recovery Act funds through March 2012, making the Weatherization Assistance Program the second highest job creating Recovery Act program2

Primary funding for Missouri's weatherization efforts comes from the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program. These funds are administered by the department's Division of Energy according to federal guidelines. Through agreements made with the Division of Energy in rate adjustment cases and other regulatory matters, further funding is provided by the following companies to weatherize additional homes in their service areas:

Sources:
1 ORNL/TM-2010/66. EIA February 2010 Short Term Energy Outlook
2 1512 Reports as reported by recipients. To access these reports, visit www.recovery.gov

    Weatherization Fact Sheets

    Operation Manual - Missouri Weatherization Program

    Annual Application for Fiscal Year 2014 U.S. Dept. of Energy Funding

    Weatherization Network Training

    Weatherization Literature

    Federal Program Links

    Section 106 Compliance

    Success Stories