Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) Funding Opportunity Announcement
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides $5 billion over two years for weatherization of low-income family homes, through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). WAP is an existing DOE program revised under ARRA to reach a larger number of homes and increase the amount of assistance offered to each home, administered through states. The ARRA funding represents a temporary 5-fold increase in DOE weatherization funding and follows President Obama’s initiative to eventually weatherize 1 million homes per year.
- Funding: $5 billion over two years (see grantee allocation chart below)
- Grant recipients: States & Territories (59 grantees). Subgrantees must be community action agencies or nonprofits.
- Program goals: The purpose of the Weatherization Assistance Program is to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential expenditures, and improve their health and safety. The goal of the ARRA is to preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery, with preference given to activities that can do so expeditiously. According to the National Community Action Foundation, the President expects about 810,000 homes to be weatherized by the end of the Recovery Act period.
- Program Precedents: The federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was authorized in Title IV, Part A of the Energy and Conservation and Production Act of 1976. The current WAP statute was amended as follows:
- Maximum eligible income level: increased from 150% to 200% of poverty level
- Assistance level per dwelling cap: increased from $2,500 to $6,500
- Training and technical assistance: maximum percentage raised from 10% to 20% of funding. Note: the DOE will retain 3% of overall funding for national T&TA initiatives.
- Second-round improvements: allowed for on homes weatherized as recently as 1994 (amended from 1979)
- Project prioritization: The Secretary of Energy may give priority to the most cost-effective projects. Also, agencies that have demonstrated experience and effectiveness in weatherization are to be prioritized as subgrantees.
The ARRA increases the DOE portion of funding for weatherization by more than 5 times FY 08 funding levels each year, and represents a doubling all weatherization funding, including state & utility programs.
Application Process for States
Timeline: Document due dates, components and funding timeline for State Applications
|Due Date||Components||DOE Obligation of Funds|
|Initial Application||3/23/2009 (8pm EST)||
||10% of total allocation upon DOE approval|
|Interim Dates:||Due before submission of Comprehensive App|
|Proposed Subgrantees||10 days prior to public hearing||Public list of proposed subgrantees|
|Hearing||Prior to Comprehensive Application deadline Public hearing for final selection of subgrantees|
|Comprehensive Application||5/12/2009 (8pm EST)||
||40% of total allocation upon DOE approval|
|Reviews||Regularly through grant period||DOE will closely monitor grantee performance through continual communication and monitoring. States need to include plans for monitoring subgrantee progress in their application and follow up documents.||The balance of total funding will be based on DOE review of grantee fund obligation, reporting compliance and job creation. Probably through a staged process (20%, 20%, 10%)|
|Fund Obligation||All funds to be obligated by September 30th, 2010|
|Fund Exhaustion||All funds must be spent by March 2012|
*State plans should address the challenges with respect to work-force training, monitoring and oversight, quality control, intake and qualification, management information systems, equipment and supplies and how these challenges can be met. Compliance with recording requirements
Selection of Subgrantees
Subgrantees must be community action agencies or other public or nonprofit entities. States must give preference to organizations that have operated effective WAP or community action programs, and must hold a public trial prior to the submission of their comprehensive application to ensure that all eligible groups are considered. Documentation of the hearing proceedings and the public notification of the hearing are required for states to receive ARRA WAP funding.
Public Hearing – States must make public their list of proposed sub grantees 10 days prior to the hearing. Subgrantees will be selected based on the findings of the hearings regarding:
- Experience and effectiveness in weatherization: extent & quality of previous work, staff size and credentials, ability to secure and train additional workers.
- Experience in assisting low-income persons
- Capacity to undertake timely and effective weatherization. The DOE has not issued more specific guidance for community action organizations. For more information, interested organizations should contact their state governor’s office.
Prevailing Wages:All laborers and mechanics working for contractors and subcontracts on stimulus-funded projects must be paid at local prevailing wage rates as determined under the Davis-Bacon Act.
Advance Payments: States must pay each WAP subgrantee in advance as long as the subgrantees:
- maintain appropriate financial management systems to ensure fast and accountable transfer of funds; and
- are determined not to be “right risk” for fraud. A state can only place a subgrantee on “high risk” status for certain conditions, and must work to notify, remedy and reconsider the “high risk” entity in a timely manner.
Additional Information for States and Nonprofits
Best practices for WAP program ramp-up – Several states and non-profit entities have experienced similar expedited ramp-ups in WAP funding. Best practices and guidance will be posted at www.waptac.org.
Community Action Associations Guidance – Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) has posted an informative resource for community action groups involved in WAP.
|District of Columbia||$8,089,022||Oklahoma||$60,903,196|
|Montana||$26,543,777||Northern Mariana Islands||$795,206|
- The totals do not include funding reserved for DOE operations and technical assistance provided by DOE
- Weatherization funding excludes Tribal grants; Navajo for $9,068,150 and Northern Arapahoe for $956,210