SENCA Weatherization Recognizes October 30th as National Weatherization Day

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In an effort to create more awareness of the Weatherization Assistance Program, and the energy saving benefits the program provides to qualifying households, October 30th is recognized each year as National Weatherization Day.  SENCA has been weatherizing homes of eligible, low-income households since 1975. 

With above normal temperatures keeping us warm throughout much of October most of us are not ready, or even thinking about, freezing temps and higher utility costs that will soon be a reality for residents of southeast Nebraska.  While this is an inconvenience for most households, the colder winter months are more of a challenge for economically challenged households who fear they won’t be able to pay the higher utility costs. This is especially true for households with elderly residents on fixed incomes, those experiencing chronic health issues and those with small children.  Many of these families already live in older, drafty homes with little or no insulation, often worrying if their old, worn out furnace will get them through another winter.    

Thankfully Southeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Inc. (SENCA) provides a Weatherization program to qualifying residents throughout the seven county service area of: Cass, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson and Sarpy. Weatherization enables low-income families, whether they own or rent their home, to reduce energy costs by helping to make their homes more energy efficient. 

Potential Weatherization services may include: insulation to the attic, walls and/or floors; replacement of broken glass in primary windows; installation or adjustment of door weather-stripping, thresholds and/or door sweeps; in addition to an efficiency inspection on natural gas, propane and fuel oil furnaces, or boilers. Hot water heater repair and/or replacement is also available. After improvements are completed households generally experience an increase in comfort, reduced drafts, more even temperatures throughout the home and a reduction in heating and cooling costs.

A typical residence who has benefitted from Weatherization services may experiences an average of 18.7% reduction in heating costs.  Additional savings can also be achieved in cooling costs.  Energy conservation helps reduce Nebraska’s dependence on imported energy in addition to being a major contribution to the self-sufficiency of low-income households.  A reduction in energy costs can help economically challenged households stretch their available income to better meet the family’s basic needs.  During the 2021 fiscal year, October 1st – September 30th, SENCA provided 29 adults, residing in 24 homes, with energy saving improvements and energy conservation training, thereby improving lives and strengthening southeast Nebraska communities.  

To receive free weatherization services the combined household income must fall below 200% of the federal poverty level, which is revised annually. For example, in 2021 a family of four could earn up to $53,000 and qualify for assistance. Households with persons receiving either ADC (Aid to Dependent Children) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are automatically eligible for weatherization services.        

To learn more about SENCA Weatherization, or to see if you qualify for assistance, please contact Gin Christiansen, Housing Director at 402-862-2411, extension 110