Reducing carbon pollution for all of Creation. Lowering bills for our neighbors in need.
Help Families Prepare Their Homes for Winter
Volunteers in Centre County are cooperating to weatherize homes of low-income families. October has been designated Weatherization Month in State College, but our work continues throughout the year. This resource page is maintained by the Weatherization First coordinator and has the most up to date forms (for volunteers, residents, and landlords). While you’re there, you can read the expanded Weatherization First mission statement and action plan.
Would you like to be involved in this work? Leadership meetings and fundraisers are posted on our calendar, and you can get a taste of the work we’re doing over at our blog. All those who want to help their neighbors and who care about climate change are welcome. We especially encourage members of congregations to participate. Please contact us about giving a presentation to your outreach committee, mission group, or social club.
Weatherization First is a project of PA Interfaith Power & Light, supported by the Rock Ethics Institute of Penn State, in-kind discounts from Ace Hardware of State College and Lowe’s and we have received a grant from the Walmart Foundation. Envinity has provided a mix of time, expertise, and donations, and will do so anytime someone mentions Weatherization First when they get a full-price audit of their own home. Coordination and cooperation with Interfaith Human Services, Community Action, and Housing Transitions is an essential part of this effort.
As part of our collaboration with Interfaith Human Services, PA IPL has created and staffed energy efficiency classes for potential recipients of Fuel Bank assistance.
People with all kinds of skills help get the work done. Obviously, people with knowledge of house systems and experience with building or repairs are great hands-on team members, but much more is needed. Can you use a telephone? a pen? a camera? email? We need your skills, too! It’s incredibly helpful for a team to have someone ready to record key measurements, write lists as the technical leader calls things out, schedule with clients and taking photos (for recording or diagnosing problems, sharing the work team members are doing with others, and celebrating a job well done). Often we can reach out to commercial or government initiatives if clients fit in certain narrow groups, and there is someone available to sit with the client to help fill out necessary forms. It’s incredibly powerful to have someone with a compassionate listening ear who can be the primary client contact person, serving as an on-site listener for clients who need a warm heart as much as a warm house, and helping team members process what they see during the visits. There is also plenty of space for people willing to learn as they go — start out as a tool carrier, and learn to measure, cut, or insulate alongside someone with more expertise.
Volunteers from several congregations and from the community are already involved in this work. We have participants from Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Faith United Church of Christ, Grace Lutheran Church, University Baptist and Brethren Church, State College Friends Meeting, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Penn State chapter of PA Interfaith Power & Light, and St. John’s United Church of Christ in Boalsburg, as well as concerned citizens from the community. If you want to be involved, please let us know — there is always more work to be done!
How can you join?
We will contact you about the projects available. You can choose which project you want to take on, and the leader for that project will arrange for your participation.
Support this important work:
Donate online (direct the donation to Weatherization First in the memo) OR send a check to PA IPL (memo: Weatherization First), 243 S. Allen St., #337, State College, PA 16801. PA IPL is a 501(c) (3) organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Three Easy Ways to help Weatherization First
Here are three ways that people can help Weatherization First by taking advantage of offers from Envinity, Inc. and from the electric company.
- Your electric company will send you an energy conservation kit if you ask for it. You can then donate the contents to Weatherization First so that we can use the items to help our clients. Go to www.paenergykit.com or call 888-204-4919 and give them your electric account number. If you have received a kit since May 2010, you are not eligible to receive another.
- If you fill out an online form describing your home and energy use, West Penn Power will send you an energy conservation kit. Even if you have already received the one described above, you can get another one by going to this website and answering the questions. You can then donate it to us.
- Have you had an energy audit performed on your house? A professional can identify trouble spots in your home and tell you which improvements will be most cost-effective. Now there is another reason to have an energy audit. Envinity, Inc. (a local employee-owned company working on energy efficiency and green building, phone 814-231-3927) has offered to carry out a free walk-through energy audit for our low-income projects for every energy audit that somebody buys at their regular price. You get a comprehensive professional energy audit, and Weatherization First gets help in carrying our weatherization projects. Be sure to tell them that you are a supporter of Weatherization First or PA IPL.
How you can participate in this project:
- Form a group that has the skills to weatherize houses, apartments, or mobile homes and educate residents about money-saving measures they can carry out.
- Designate a contact person.
- Fill out this registration form (Registration for Weatherization First Volunteer-1) that will explain what you are able to do and when. Send to Sylvia Neely at SNeelyPA@gmail.com.
- We will send you a list of projects that need to be completed. Let us know which ones you would like to take on and when.
- Send us a report that explains what you accomplished.
Forms, worksheets, and handouts (most are PDFs to download directly)
- Client application for people seeking assistance from Weatherization First: WF client application or call 814-876-2597
- Volunteer registration and waiver form: WF Volunteer Registration
- Waiver form for residents: WF Homeowner:Resident Waiver
- Full-page Weatherization First flier for spreading the word: full-page WF flier
- one-pager of energy-saving measures that can reduce fuel bills: Energy Saving Actions This page should be left with homeowners when the audit is done (and can be used an any home — share with your congregation!):
- Window measurement worksheet: window worksheet (for building inexpensive, removable/reusable internal storm windows)
- PA Weatherization Field Guide contains lots of specific information on weatherizing, including a separate section on mobile homes.
- Energy audit form for assessing the home: WeatherizationFirstEnergyAuditDataCollectionForm.05.2014
- Caution! An illustrated list of a few things to look out for when weatherzing a home: WF SAFETY-If you see this… (Credit and thanks to Brian Henderson of Envinity)
- Get a free energy-saving kit from WestPenn Power www.paenergykit.com or call 888-204-4919 and be ready to give them the household electric bill account number.
- Describe the home (yours or the clients’) and its energy use, and fill out this form to get a free energy conservation kit. You’ll need the WestPenn account number for the address of the applying household. The kit will be sent directly to the household.
- Energy Efficiency Class powerpoint presentation points to particular actions, and has a lot of background information. Fuel Bank Class slides 2014-2015
- The final report template is best downloaded in Word so that you have the choice of typing or writing.