October 25, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY — In recognition of the importance of energy conservation, Governor Mary Fallin signed a proclamation declaring October 30th Weatherization Day for the state of Oklahoma. The annual occasion focuses on raising awareness of home energy conservation measures and highlights the efforts of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
WAP, primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, enables low-income families to reduce their energy bills by more than $350 per year by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce Community Development Division manages the Oklahoma Weatherization Assistance Program by providing oversight and funding to Community Action Agencies, who administer WAP in the communities they serve. WAP services can include measures as simple as weather stripping and lowering the maximum temperature on a water heater to insulating walls and attics or replacing windows and doors.
"The State of Oklahoma is committed to energy conservation and community assistance, and one of the ways that we make a difference in people's lives is through the Weatherization Assistance Program," says Vaughn Clark, Director of the Community Development Division at Commerce. "The program allows homeowners to reduce their energy costs, and stimulates economic growth in our state by putting more money back in the pockets of homeowners."
Since 2009, WAP has assisted approximately 9,179 households in Oklahoma. One of the recipients in 2013 was an elderly client of Northeast Oklahoma Community Action Agency's (NEOCAA), Anne Jones, who had noticed drafty windows in the winter and had trouble keeping her home cool in the summer. Being on a fixed income and wheelchair bound, she was unable to make the changes needed to make her home safer and more comfortable in extreme cold and heat. At no cost to Jones, NEOCAA was able to install new windows, weather stripping, attic insulation, and was able to provide an energy star refrigerator to Jones through the WAP. Jones said she noticed a significant energy savings after receiving the services.
"I would like to thank you all for all the wonderful thoughtful things you have done for me," wrote Jones in a thank-you letter to the agency. "The young men who worked so endlessly to do the labor in extremely hot 100 degree weather, they were so polite, respectful and considerate. You all are truly a blessing to help me and others."
Without WAP, during the extremes of the winter and summer months Oklahoma residents like Jones would continue to have to choose between keeping their homes at a safe, comfortable temperature and having affordable utility bills. WAP makes safer, more energy efficient homes possible for these clients, ultimately increasing their quality of life while reducing their financial burden.
For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, please contact Stacy Humbert at (405) 815-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.