John Howat, with the National Consumer Law Center, spoke today at the National Community Action Foundation Energy Programs Leveraging Con... on starting new state leveraging initiatives.  But, as he asked the attendees, "what the heck is 'leveraging'?"

According to John, leveraging means attaining non-federal funding and other resources (including federal technical and training assistance and leveraging grants) to supplement federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds.  Other examples include utility payment assistance and low-income energy efficiency programs, state-mandated energy efficiency programs, foundation funds, and Health and Human Services LIHEAP Assurance grants.

Why is it important to leverage additional funds when WAP is flush with ARRA stimulus funds?  Because ARRA funding will likely be running out in March 2012, and LIHEAP and WAP are not enough to secure long-term energy security for eligible low-income clients.  720,000 homes are projected to be weatherized under ARRA and non-ARRA programs by 2012, but 39 million low-income homes are eligible! 

John recommended that we develop low-income home energy security plans for our states,  documenting household income, poverty, demographics, utility shut-offs and arrears, and home energy burden analyses. 

Economic benefits are not distributed equally in our society, and low-income families and communities deserve their fair-share of new investments in green energy.  As co-presenter, Lisa Kesecker (W. Va. Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity) paraphrased Grateful Dead rock star, Jerry Garcia: "Somebody's got to do something [about poverty and environmental pollution] and it's a damned shame that it has to be us."

How has your agency advocated for energy efficiency in low-income communities?

Tags: leveraging, low_income, weatherization

Views: 94

Replies to This Discussion

We have hired a Leveraging Coordinator and are working to address these issues as I sit here now. Any input would be greatly appreciated by our organization. Thank You.


Check us out at


Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Profile IconDenise Cooper, Maren Cooke, Steven Antonini and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
Crosbey Archery joined Allison A. Bailes III's group


HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
Crosbey Archery commented on Ottawa Furnace Filters's blog post Some Useful Information about Furnace Air Filters
"This post is really helpful especially to those homeowners who are still confused on what to…"
Diane Chojnowski posted videos
Diane Chojnowski posted a discussion

Incentives & financing options for home energy upgrades has a useful database of incentives and financing options for home energy efficiency…See More
George Kopf commented on Home Energy Magazine's blog post My Fall Into The Smart Home, Lazy Life
"Matt, Another way of looking at this is that by freeing up my time/brain power, I can give more…"
Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post was featured

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More
Chris Laumer-Giddens posted a blog post

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this Home!

Sparky Doubled the Air Leakage in this HomeThis is the home.This is the hole that Sparky…See More

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service