The National Association for State Community Services Programs’ (NASCSP) most recent survey of the 50 states and the District of Columbia shows about $1.005 billion was available to the states and their respective local agencies to operate the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in Program Year 2008. This represents an increase of $305.2 million, or 43 percent, from the PY 2007 funding level of $700.6 million.
A national network of states, local agencies, and private contractors used these funds to weatherize the homes of 231,375 low-income families, according to estimated production figures provided by the states.
Of the total, about $239.5 million is from the Department of Energy WAP allocation, with the remaining $766.4 million leveraged from federal, state and private sources, or approximately $3.20 in federal and non-federal resources for every dollar invested by DOE. As in past program years, leveraged funds come from three major sources: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) LIHEAP set-asides (states may use up to 25 percent of their LIHEAP block grant to fund weatherization-related activities), settlements from Petroleum Violation Escrow cases (PVE), and “other funds” from utility companies, states, and property owner contributions. (See chart below).
PY 2008 set-asides from LIHEAP to WAP were estimated at $361.9 million, an increase of 30 percent or nearly $84 million from $277.9 million reported for PY 2007. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia transferred LIHEAP funds into the WAP in PY 2008.
The “other funds” category represented approximately 39 percent of the total funds available for WAP in 2008, a 9 percent increase over 2007. This category has been steadily increasing and reached a fifteen-year high in PY 2008 with about $395.9 million in funding from utilities, state general revenues, property owner contributions, and rehabilitation grants. As in previous years, utility companies were the primary source of “other” funds, followed by state general revenues and property owners.
The report says the growth of this funding source has been achieved through intervention in electric and gas restructuring by state and local entities, the implementation of landlord participation programs within the states, and developing relationships with other state offices to locate companion funds to offset WAP activities.
The use of PVE funds for WAP increased from $1.8 million in 2007 to $6.8 million in PY 2008. However, the PVE category represents only 1 percent of the total funds available for WAP this year.
* 2008 figures are estimates