The Weatherization program is a national program through the Department of Energy which began in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked the resources to invest in energy efficiency. The program helps families cut back on the amount of energy used to heat and cool their homes at no cost to them.
Our agency serves people living in both Ramsey and Washington counties, with priority given to disabled persons, the elderly, families with small children, and houses with large energy bills. Each year we weatherize over 300 houses.
Since 1976 we have weatherized approximately 13,000 households in Ramsey and Washington counties. The program has experienced major changes over the years, primarily in the way we look at houses and in the technology.
In the mid-1980’s, our agency was one of the first to begin using two very effective tools to help find energy loss in houses: the blower door and infrared camera. These tools helped us locate where problem air leaks were located, and are still used today as important tools for weatherizing homes.
Today we continue to use the best diagnostic equipment available including blower doors and infrared cameras as well as furnace combustion analyzers, digital monometers, and computerized data analysis programs. All of this equipment helps us ensure a healthier environment in the home and determine the most cost-effective ways to conserve energy in homes.
With the use of modern diagnostic tools, the Weatherization program has changed from just focusing on energy savings to a building science approach, dealing with the whole house as a system.