August 19, 2021
Thanks to a new state-devised ranking system, the RPC’s Weatherization program hopes to bring added safety and energy efficiency to no less than 100 income-eligible Champaign County households in the next two years. The program will feature a 60-day application period and prioritize homes occupied by the elderly, the disabled, and children.
Weatherization services are comprehensive and include insulating walls, floors, perimeters, and attics; furnace work, including replacing existing low-efficiency furnaces or cleaning and tuning higher-efficiency furnaces; and air sealing. Champaign County residents interested in applying for these free services will have 60 days to complete and submit the application found here. There will also be printed versions of the application available at the RPC’s offices in Urbana (1776 E. Washington Street). Applications should be submitted as soon as they are completed, however the deadline for submitting applications is Friday, October 29, 2021, at 4:30pm.
The RPC hopes to obtain approximately 150 applicants during the application period. Through the 60-day application period, household income or high energy burden/usage will no longer be used to determine priority for Weatherization services. Instead, the State of Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program requires that each household that applies be ranked and assigned a priority by the WeatherWorks system, a system developed by the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP).
“The new priority system should allow us to assist clients in a more timely fashion,” explains Mike Hunter, the RPC’s Weatherization Coordinator. “Pre-screening will help eliminate clients seeking repairs that are beyond the scope of work intended by the program and could result in some clients getting assistance from other programs.”
There is a maximum of 5 points that determine the priority ranking:
Elderly – If any member of the household is 60 years of age or older, the household is assigned 2 points (no matter how many elderly occupants there are occupying the home).
Disability – If any member of the household has a disability per the Americans with Disabilities Act, the household is assigned 2 points (no matter how many persons with disabilities there are occupying the home).
Children – If any member of the household is 5 years or age or below, the household is assigned 1 point (no matter how many children there are occupying the home).
All higher priority households will be weatherized before the RPC moves on to the lesser priority households. Households applying for Weatherization services are required to provide documentation of home ownership or paperwork signed by their landlord. To be eligible for Weatherization services, an applicant’s total household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or have a household member who receives Social Security Income (SSI). Weatherization can be performed on any home occupied by an eligible applicant, including apartments, manufactured homes, and privately owned single-family homes. The service is free to qualified applicants.