August 5 – Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced last month that funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used for a new program to weatherize large, multifamily buildings. The new program aims to weatherize approximately 3,000 units in apartment buildings across the state over the next two years, reducing energy use and creating jobs.
Under the Recovery Act, Wisconsin will receive over $141 million for weatherization programs for low and moderate-income families. The majority of the funds will help weatherize more than 33,000 homes over the next two years. Wisconsin recently received approval from the Department of Energy to use $17 million of the recovery funds on this new initiative to weatherize large, multifamily units.
There is potential for substantial energy savings in weatherizing apartment buildings and Wisconsin’s new Multifamily Weatherization Recovery Project is expected to be a model for other states. Unlike the current low-income weatherization program that contracts with local governments and non-profit organizations for weatherization services, the Department of Administration (DOA) will provide services directly for the new Multifamily Weatherization Recovery Project. DOA’s Division of Energy Services has expertise in weatherization and the Division of State Facilities has experience and expertise in working directly with contractors on state building projects, like remodeling dorms on campuses across the state, for example.
Eligible participating property owners receive an energy audit that looks at building performance and ways that energy efficiency can be improved. Energy efficiency improvements are offered to the owner when improvements will generate savings. Typical improvements may include heating system replacement, compact fluorescent light bulbs, ventilation, insulation, reduction of air leakage and refrigerator replacement.
A qualified property will contain 20-or-more units in one structure with a minimum of two-thirds of the tenants having an income at or below 60 percent of the state median income ($45,067 for a family of four) and will not have been previously weatherized through the state’s Low-income Weatherization Program. There is no obligation for submitting an application and there is no direct cost for participation in the program.
Source: Department of Administration