Weatherization — the practice of implementing energy efficiency measures, particularly around seasonal weather changes — is the heart of almost every utility’s low-income portfolio.
There’s a good reason why. Low-income customers tend to live in older, less efficient homes, and their energy burden is 4.6x greater on average than non-low-income families’. Weatherization is an important way that utilities can engage working families and help them lower their bills.
The problem is that for a lot of low-income customers, it can be hard to juggle enrolling and participating in weatherization with their other priorities. And it shows up in the numbers. Between 2009 and 2012, the Federal Weatherization Assistance Project reached an impressive 1 million homes in the U.S. Yet that was less than 3 percent of the homes that were eligible for weatherization in 2014.
How can program managers and other leaders start reaching the other 97 percent?