A recent national survey reports just over $1 billion was available during Program Year 2009 to operate the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), an increase of 7.3 percent from PY 2008 funding of $979.5 million.
The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) surveyed the 50 states and the District of Columbia and tallied the amount of funds each received from the following sources: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) WAP, LIHEAP grant set-asides, settlements from Petroleum Violation Escrow cases (PVE), and “Other” funds from utility companies, states, and property owner contributions.
The survey does not include the $5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, which was awarded in February 2009, but most states did not begin to spend until late in the year.
During 2009, regular (non-ARRA) DOE funds amounted to about 40 percent of the total, LIHEAP funds 43.4 percent, “Other” funds 16.4 percent, and PVE funds less than 1 percent. The DOE and LIHEAP funds were up significantly from prior years because DOE’s regular appropriation for FY 2009 was $451 million, compared to $237 million in 2008.
The LIHEAP share was a record $456 million, compared to $332 million in 2008, the result of the doubling of LIHEAP funding for FY 2009. LIHEAP grantees may allocate 15 percent of their annual funding to weatherization, or up to 25 percent with a waiver from HHS. According to LIHEAP Clearinghouse records, most states didn’t change the percent of funds that they allocated to weatherization in 2009, but they dramatically increased their weatherization allotments because of their increased LIHEAP funds.
Funds in the “Other” category totaled $172.4 million. These funds come from utility companies, state general revenues, property owner contributions and rehabilitation grants.
The survey results indicate that the network expected to weatherize about 171,387 homes during 2009 using all funding sources. It also catalogues the funding and production levels for each state as well as the source of that funding. The WAP funding survey also serves as the historical reference for all program funding from the various sources, maintaining data for over twenty years while publishing the previous ten years in each report.
While not including ARRA funds in the 2009 total, the report says this about the future of the program: “The WAP community recognizes that the level of funding provided to the WAP from ARRA will be very difficult to maintain. The WAP network will be challenged to sustain as close to its total funding level and capacity as possible after ARRA concludes on March 31, 2012.”