Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity and Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) have partnered to bring the “Habitat Weatherization Program” to members of WEC. Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity (WHFH) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of substandard housing in the Wiregrass area of Alabama.
WHFH, in partnership with people in need, breaks the cycle of poverty by providing decent affordable housing and improving the quality of life for partner families. WHFH partners with the low-income families they build with — partners with the businesses, churches, and civic groups who donate the funds and building materials to build the homes — and partners with other service agencies to educate partner families to be responsible homeowners and community-minded citizens. Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity serves 4 counties: Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston.
About the Program
The Habitat Weatherization Program was designed to assist qualified homeowners in the practice of protecting their home and its interior from the elements — such as sunlight, precipitation, and wind — and to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency.
To qualify for the program, the home must be owned by a member of WEC and approved by Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity following the completion of a repair cost estimate and application. The costs of repairs may be covered up to $3,000 per household.
Examples of eligible weatherization procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Sealing bypasses (cracks, gaps, holes), especially around doors, windows, pipes, and wiring that penetrate the ceiling and floor, and other areas with high potential for heat loss
- Sealing recessed lighting fixtures (can lights or high hats) which leak large amounts of air into unconditioned attic space
- Sealing air ducts, which can account for 20% of heat loss
- Installing insulated outlet covers
- Blowing insulation in unconditioned attic space
- Installing insulation in unconditioned wall space
Families are selected for the program based on 3 criteria:
- Need — Families must be currently residing in substandard housing.
- Ability to pay — Families must have a stable, verifiable income to be considered. Credit and income-to-debt ratios are checked and verified. A $1,000 down payment is required for new-home construction.
- Willingness to partner — Every family selected is required to complete 500 volunteer hours in the Habitat program, 300 of which must be completed before construction will begin on their home.
How to Get Started
- Begin with a free energy audit conducted by a qualified WEC employee. Fill out the Energy Audit form online or call (800) 239-4602 to make an appointment. The energy audit will recommend specific areas in your home that need to be addressed to make your home more energy-efficient — and save on your electric bill.
- Contact the Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity office at (334) 792-8453 (located at 1227 Headland Ave. in Dothan) for a Weatherization Program application. Get directions to the Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity office. Provide all information required, then someone will be in contact with you to begin the process of making your home more energy-efficient. Visit the Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity website.