Weatherization FAQ

Weatherization as defined by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) differs in many ways from what is commonly called "weatherizing your home." The latter involves low-cost or no-cost improvements such as adding weatherstripping to doors and windows to save energy. Today, DOE WAP's weatherization services consist of cost-effective energy efficiency measures for existing residential and multifamily housing with low-income residents. Under this definition, it includes a wide variety of energy efficiency measures that encompass the building envelope, its heating and cooling systems, its electrical system and electricity consuming appliances (baseload electricity use).

  • WAP serves low-income families free of charge and limits the amount of money that can be spent on any single residence as determined by federal rules. As a result, only the most cost-effective measures are included in the upgrade of a particular home. This constant pressure for measured energy savings has become the trademark of DOE weatherization and distinguishes it from the larger home retrofit industry.
  • Another distinguishing feature of weatherization is attention to an all-around health and safety check. Many buildings receiving attention are old and need repair. WAP checks major energy systems, ensuring occupant safety.
  • Increasingly, weatherization service providers look at the house as a system under the concept of "whole-house weatherization." In recent years, weatherization providers in many states including West Virginia have begun to combine resources from other programs and/or utility partners to address comprehensive energy and housing needs of low-income citizens. Weatherization today comprises a comprehensive series of energy efficiency measures that are based on sophisticated audits and energy analyses of individual homes.

Local community action agency weatherization offices throughout the state take applications for weatherization assistance and determine whether or not a dwelling unit and its residents are income eligible for weatherization assistance. Income verification is made with income sources and official documentation and can be a time consuming process to complete.

Income criteria is based on:

  • annual gross income from ALL income sources @ 200% OMB Poverty guidelines per household family size, and
  • whether the applicant has received cash assistance payments under Title IV of XVI of the Social Security Act during the preceding twelve months.
  • Note that these are the basics of eligibility...other criteria and requirements may apply or determine waitlist placement – the local community action agency intake staff has information.


Call or visit the local community action agency that serves the county where you reside.

List provided

Apply in Person at the Community Action Agency/Provider that serves the county where you reside.

  • Application form usually takes about 20 minutes.
  • You must have written documented proof of all gross income for the year prior to application.

The agency also asks a small number of questions about your household, such as, the number of people living in the home, date of construction, utility providers and account numbers, etc.

Your eligibility is determined:

  • If you are eligible, your weatherization agency puts you on a waiting list for additional contact and further energy estimation/audit assessments, and a waitlist for actual services.
  • If you rent, you must first get permission from your landlord to have weatherization performed.