While attending the NASCSP conference last week in Atlanta, Georgia, the overall message was: How do we keep the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) relevant in the future? Also, how do we find more funding to keep our programs alive post-ARRA?

Along with a lot of brainstorming and industry conversation happening around the two questions posed above, NASCSP took one of the sessions to tell attendees about their initiatives for the future of WAP. Along with a concerted effort to band together and create a better public image for weatherization, NASCSP is making a large effort to leverage partnerships and earn more money for weatherization. One such leveraging project will include their Carbon Trading Initiative.

As told by NASCSP’s new Carbon Trading Project Director, Jo-Ann Choate, the Carbon Trading Initiative boils down to this simple fact: Weatherization reduces carbon but states/companies/organizations aren’t currently being monetarily rewarded for doing so. In order to leverage additional funding for WAP and receive those “rewards,” NASCSP is currently developing a national framework to measure carbon emission reductions from weatherization activities and sell carbon offsets in the voluntary carbon markets in compliance with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The project also aims to help states improve the quality of their services (by monitoring and measuring all data) and help to expand WAP beyond just the low-income community.

Here’s how it will work.

  • NASCSP will continue to identify the scope and plan for this project. (Preliminary documents, including data sheets and questionnaires had already been sent to states prior to the conference.)
  • Once it’s ready to roll out, which is said to be soon, they’ll write an official project description.
  • States will then send in all appropriate documents to NASCSP and the organization will validate all the projects that are sent to them.
  • NASCSP will then verify all carbon offsets, register them, and sell them in the carbon markets. (Note: Many large organizations purchase carbon offsets to meet corporate social responsibility regulations, which allows them to not necessarily reduce their own carbon emissons but "pay it forward," so to speak and balance out their own emissons by purchasing offsets.)
  • Once they’re purchased, NASCSP will distribute all carbon funds back to each state. NASCSP will also identify and manage all the carbon data throughout the process.

Prior to the conference, NASCSP had approached all the attendees and 17 states had already agreed to participate in the program.

From where I’m sitting, this plan not only seems simple, but it seems profitable, which is exactly what WAP needs right now.

 

You can view the PowerPoint presentation given at the conference for the WAP Carbon Trading Project here.

This blog originally appeared on HomeEnergy.org.

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