State weatherization effort helps Bridgeville homeowner
As days become shorter and temperatures begin to drop, homeowners start to prepare for the late fall and winter seasons.
“For low-income families, the winter months can quickly become a financial burden,” said state Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, who on Friday toured a Bridgeville home undergoing an energy audit to combat colder weather.
The tour was part of the DCED's efforts to promote the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps reduce energy costs for eligible homeowners.
“It was a blessing,” said homeowner Lori Snatchko, who has been in her Bridgeville home for seven months.
“I was really excited about this because I wouldn't have been able to do it on my own. When I looked out and saw the trucks coming in on the street, it was awe-inspiring.”
The Weatherization Assistance Program reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the efficiency of homes through a federal allocation received from the U.S. Department of Energy. Those funds then are allocated to local agencies, such as ACTION-Housing, throughout Pennsylvania.
Along with Davin, representatives from ACTION-Housing, including Director Larry Swanson, toured Snatchko's home as it was being weatherized.
The program is “providing assistance to combat the challenge by providing permanent solutions to reduce energy costs and increase safety year-round,” Davin said.
A federally mandated statewide average of $7,105 is spent on individual weatherization work per home, officials said.
A seven-member crew conducted an energy audit of Snatchko's home to determine air flow leakage. Then, measures such as adding weatherstripping or insulation and window or door repair are chosen to best reduce the home's energy usage. The process can take up to a week.
During the tour, Brian Weber of Weber General Contractors was focusing on wrapping waterlines and insulating borderlines, doors and walls.
“It's all about maximizing the heat within the house,” he said.
DCED leaders estimate that more than 535,000 homes have been weatherized through the program since 1977.
Matthew Peaslee is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.