Weatherization – FAQ
BCAC delivers energy conservation services throughout Berkshire County Ma. Funds are provided by the Federal Dept. of Energy (DOE), Berkshire Gas, National Grid and WMECO.
What are the income restrictions for weatherization’s programs?
Financial eligibility for any of BCAC’s energy conservation programs hinges on financial eligibility for Fuel Assistance. (see LIHEAP Fuel Assistance – income guidelines). However, the utility funded programs also consider someone on the utility discount rate (R-2 or R-4 on your utility bill) qualified for conservation services.
What kind of services are available?
The Federally funded program(s) offer most insulation measures (attic, walls, floors, ducts/pipes, etc.), house tightening, airsealing and minor repairs. Window/door replacements may be considered on a very limited basis – it has to be rotting out of the wall.
Utility funded programs offer insulation, house tightening and airsealing. The electric utilities also offer electric conservation measures including energy efficient light bulbs and possible refrigerator/freezer replacements for energy glutton refrigerators. You will also be given some pointers on how to save energy.
The programs will also assess the heating system for possible improvements and will refer possible improvements to our heating system program. (see heating system services).
I rent – can I still get work done?
Yes, the program can serve homeowners and tenants. Tenants will have to have their landlord sign an agreement, provided by BCAC, to receive improvements to the property.
What does it cost?
If you are eligible for the program(s), there is no cost to you, within the limitations of the program of course.
What are the limitations?
Each program has different dollar and measure limitations. Presently, BCAC can cover the full cost of allowable measures 98+% of the time. In the rare case that we cannot, you would be informed of what your obligation would be. If you decide not to have the work done, it will not be done.
How do you know what to do on my home?
A full assessment of your home’s energy needs will be done by an auditor from BCAC. The specifications for the improvements will be written up and given to a contractor. You will be sent a letter telling you who will be doing the work and the general measures that should be done.
Who does the work?
All work is done by professional, licensed, insured contractors contracted with BCAC.
Electric savings measures are provided by BCAC employees.
Is there anything I will need to do?
The letter you receive from us will tell you if there is anything you need to prepare for. The most common request is to move storage so that the contractor can access the areas of your home easily.
How long does it take?
The work itself is generally started 2-6 weeks after you receive the letter from us telling you who will be doing the work. The contractor(s) will make an appointment with you to begin their work. The work itself could take anywhere from a ½ day to a week to complete, depending on what is being done. BCAC will need to do a final inspection of the work after it is completed.
How do I sign up?
If you are on LIHEAP Fuel Assistance or the utility discount rate, call 413-418-3671. We will verify your eligibility with the Fuel Assistance office or the utility. You will then be mailed a work permission release that will need to be signed and returned. Tenants will be mailed a tenant/landlord agreement to be signed and returned.
If you are not on either LIHEAP Fuel Assistance or the discount rate, call 413-445-4503 ext. 656 and ask to make an appointment to sign up for Fuel Assistance and weatherization. After you have been determined eligible for Fuel Assistance, call 413-418-3671
The above information is very general and applies to most customers. However, there are a myriad of rules, regulations and procedures BCAC must follow that may take you outside of the above.
There are no guarantees that services can be provided. Other eligibility items may pose an obstacle to being able to provide services. Funding levels vary from year to year, and customer demand also varies. Time of year also has bearing on timeliness of services.
BCAC will make its best effort to provide the most beneficial services to you as possible. The first step is to call us.