Celebrating 45 Years of the Weatherization Assistance Program

Kelly Speakes-Backman reflects on the 45th anniversary of the Weatherization Assistance Program

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October 28, 2021

Celebrating 45 Years of the Weatherization Assistance Program

The 1970s were a pivotal decade in American history. A surge in progress on women’s and minority rights and other social values coincided with major economic upheavals as the post-war boom came to an end. It was also a tumultuous time with respect to energy, as repeated crises kept prices high and put enormous strain on the economy and American families. In response, the federal government launched an historic national effort to promote energy efficiency and conservation.  

To alleviate the disproportionate energy burden of low-income households, Congress established the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in 1976. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Efficiency and Renewables Office has managed the program since 1993. WAP is the nation’s oldest whole-house energy efficiency program, with a unique mandate to reduce energy costs for low-income households.

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