Weatherization provides free weatherization services to income eligible residents in Clackamas County. These energy conservation services are available to both renters and homeowners. Renters should know that the owners will be contacted by our office as it is necessary to obtain owner permission to install energy conservation measures in their property. Furthermore, if you live in a multi-family dwelling (duplex, apartment, etc.) all persons living in the building will need to apply for Weatherization services. If you own (are buying) the home, you may need to provide proof of ownership prior to receiving services.
How the program works
- Apply for weatherization
Currently, the waiting list is between 12-18 months. We work on a priority basis, utilizing elderly, people with disabilities, families with children eighteen (18) years of age and under. When an applicant comes to the top of our waiting list they are contacted and informed about next steps, the income eligibility process. This is where you will be asked to provide documentation of household income.
- Perform an energy audit
If determined income eligible, you will be contacted for an energy audit. This is where we make initial contact with the home as well as the occupant. Sometimes an energy auditor is unable to complete an energy audit due to circumstances beyond their control; they will let you know if this applies to your home.
The energy auditor will ask that you do a walkthrough of your home with them to determine your overall comfort and any concerns you may have in your home. As the energy auditor begins the energy audit several tests will be conducted, they will check existing insulation levels and take necessary measurements. This requires all rooms to be open and ready for inspection. The dwelling information collected at the time of the energy audit is brought back and entered into a computer program which uses this information to determine the cost-effectiveness of each proposed energy conservation measure.
You will be asked to provide copies of your electric and/or natural gas bills. The energy auditor will go through step by step obtaining the necessary signatures of all our required paperwork. This is where you will want to pay special attention, as one of the documents states: "I agree that I will not sell the property for two years from the date the work has commenced by this agreement or has been completed, whichever occurs last. I further agree that should I violate the terms of this condition I am obligated to pay upon demand full payment of services received."
- Determine what weatherization measures will be installed
The energy auditor uses the data collected at the energy audit to determine what should be done to save the most energy. All the data collected is entered into a computerized audit program that determines which weatherization measures can be installed based on a savings-to-investment ratio. The grant requirements, coupled with the computerized audit, will determine what weatherization measures, if any, can be done to the home.
Some measures may not be installed due to being determined non cost-effective or there are funding limitations. Federal regulations state "only those measures deemed cost-effective" will be installed. It is entirely possible that some measures cannot be installed due to findings of the worker during the actual installation of materials. Please remember windows are not a guarantee. Windows are very expensive to install and rarely pass the cost effective test.
We do not bill our clients for the weatherization work done on their homes. The Community Solutions Weatherization Program receives grant money from several entities, including: the Department of Energy (DOE); the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA); and Portland General Electric (ECHO). Rebate dollars are also received from Northwest Natural (OLIEE) and the State Home Oil Weatherization (SHOW) programs. All weatherization work is paid for through these grants.
Clackamas County provides free energy education to county residents through workshops, home visits, and as part of the weatherization audit process. Our customers learn free and low-cost ways to reduce their energy bills while remaining comfortable in their homes.
For more information about our programs please call 503-650-3338