Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

Media Contact:
Kristina Tirloni 512-475-4743

Public Inquiries:
TDHCA Housing Resource Center
800-525-0657

Fax:
(512) 469-9606

Mailing Address:
TDHCA
Public and Policy Affairs
P.O. Box 13941
Austin, Tx 78711

Physical Address:
221 East 11th Street
Austin, Tx 78701

TDHCA Press Room

Energy synergy! October marks Energy Awareness Month

Energy synergy!

Synergy is the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Since 1976, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (“WAP”) has made homes more energy efficient, safer, and healthier for those with low to moderate incomes. TDHCA, its network of local weatherization providers, and other state and federal organizations across the U.S., will celebrate this important program by marking October as National Energy Awareness Month.

Since its inception, WAP has invested millions of dollars into local communities to improve homes for the elderly, those with disabilities, and families with children, helping to conserve energy and reduce utility costs.

Home weatherization includes an array of services such as weather stripping doors and windows, insulating walls, floors and attics, replacing doors, windows, refrigerators and water heaters, and repairing heating and cooling systems. The program also contributes to the state’s economic progress through job creation and purchasing of goods and services.

“Our partner agencies and program providers help ensure low-income households are receiving the best services possible,” explained Gavin Reid, TDHCA’s manager of Community Affairs Training and Planning. “A major component of this relationship is the joint cooperation with those doing the work. Specifically, those who know which materials work best in the geographic area of Texas they’re in so everyone obtains the desired measurable results. It’s a true example of Texans serving Texans!”

In Austin, TDHCA works with the Travis County Health and Human Services. The agency is a 2017 subrecipient of TDHCA’s weatherization program, having received more than $700,000 to help residents in this Central Texas area.

“The weatherization program allows the county to maximize cost savings through its purchasing power, which in turn helps our clients financially because of energy savings through more efficient-working equipment,” explained Doug Misenheimer, Housing Services Manager for Travis County Health and Human Services and Veteran Services.

“This program is very important to so many folks,” said Misenheimer. “Part of our job is educating clients on how they can save money on being more energy efficient; the other part is making sure we do the best work possible so clients see the full benefits of those savings.”

In September, Chad B. of Pflugerville received weatherization updates to the home he has rented for the last 12 years. He explained he looked into the weatherization program after hearing about it from a friend of his mother.

The Housing Services crew replaced and re-sealed ineffective ducting for the cooling system, properly sealed and insulated the walls and attic space, framed solar screens in the windows, and replaced the air conditioning unit outside.

“The application process was very easy, and I think all the work will really be worth it,” Chad said. “My mom’s house is three times bigger than mine and my utility bill was twice as high. I’m looking forward to seeing my utility costs go down next summer.”

“Proper insulation and sealing is absolutely key to keeping your house cooler when it needs to be, which is vitally important in the area we live in,” explained Misenheimer. “

“Just adding some small weatherization upgrades to a home will decrease a monthly electric bill and may give a little extra money that can be used on more important necessities for a household,” said Reid.

For weatherization ideas to put into place in your home, check out TDHCA’s Tips for Energy Savings page!

 

News Releases

News releases are developed by the Communications and Marketing section of the Division of Policy and Public Affairs to publicize TDHCA program activities. These include application funding cycles, program grant awards, special events, board activities, and other relevant information.