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Tonko, Rush & Kaptur Introduce Weatherization Bill to Lower Energy Costs for Families and Improve Access to Program

Bill strengthens Weatherization Assistance Program, cuts utility costs & supports energy efficiency

  • Rep. Paul Tonko

WASHINGTON, DC—Representatives Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Bobby Rush (IL-1), and Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) today introduced the Weatherization Enhancement and Readiness Act, legislation that would save low-income families hundreds of dollars on their energy bills while making homes safer, healthier and more energy efficient. 

“Even before the recent increase in energy, utility bills were straining budgets for millions of families, with low-income households shouldering much of this burden,” Congressman Tonko said. “For decades, the Weatherization Assistance Program has helped millions of Americans lower their energy costs while making their homes safer and healthier. This legislation strengthens this vital program and makes our communities more resilient and energy efficient, all while creating good jobs. I’ll continue working with to ensure we lower costs for all Americans and propel our nation to a clean energy future.”

“The Weatherization Assistance Program has been absolutely vital for people like my constituents on the South Side of Chicago. It saves them money on their utility bills, means we use less energy, and fights climate change all at the same time. This bill is a great step in the right direction, and would strengthen the program for future generations,” Congressman Rush said. “These common sense fixes to WAP will mean that Americans living in poor conditions – precisely the people the program should help – won’t be perversely cut off from its aid. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation”

“The Weatherization Assistance Program is a proven, commonsense strategy to rehabilitate homes and lower energy costs for millions of families and seniors. By improving the program and expanding eligibility, we can dramatically increase the number of people who benefit – putting real money back in the pockets of people across Ohio and around the country,” Rep. Kaptur said.

The Weatherization Enhancement & Readiness Act would strengthen the program by:

·       Raising the statutory Average Cost Per Unit from $6,000 to $12,000, so that households can receive more assistance, and WAP implementers can pay competitive wages and retain their workforces;

·       Establishing a Weatherization Readiness Program to address structural, plumbing, roofing, and electrical issues, and environmental hazards with dwelling units unable to receive effective assistance from WAP;

·       Authorizing $90 million annually through Fiscal Year 2027 for the Weatherization Readiness Program; and

·       Making other minor and clarifying changes to WAP.

The legislation is supported by: Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Building Performance Association, E4TheFuture, National Association for State Community Services Programs, National Association of State Energy Officials, National Community Action Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York State Community Action Association.

Statements from supporting organizations can be found HERE.

A fact sheet of the Weatherization Enhancement & Readiness Act can be found HERE.


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