One of the best ways to reduce utility bills is to weatherize the home. However, many seniors have a difficult time covering the cost of weatherization. The process can cost a homeowner well over $6,000, and seniors living on fixed incomes may not have that much money readily available. Here’s a quick look at a few programs designed to help seniors cover home weatherization and other HVAC services.
Local Discounts & Services
Before looking at state and federal weatherization programs, seniors might want to contact their local utility companies to see what they offer. Many utility companies provide their elderly clients with a wide variety of services, such as bill assistance and free thermostat upgrades. Some of these companies also offer equal pay plans for those who don’t want fluctuating bills. Equal pay plans allow homeowners to pay a single amount every month no matter how much electricity they use. Seniors should contact their local utility companies once or twice a year if they’re interested in these types of services as well as rebate programs for energy-efficient appliances and HVAC units.
Investing in a weatherization program is just one of the many wonderful options for seniors who want to age in the comfort of home. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care seniors can trust and rely on.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP awards billions of dollars to homeowners every year. In addition to assisting low-income families, the program is also a great option for older adults who are living on fixed incomes. In most cases, seniors who are eligible for Medicaid qualify for LIHEAP as well. LIHEAP helps recipients pay for many different services, including HVAC and thermostat installation, biannual service calls, emergency HVAC repairs, and air sealing. As a bonus, seniors may also qualify for home safety testing through LIHEAP. During these safety inspections, experienced contractors test homes for dangerous toxins like radon and carbon monoxide. Seniors who are interested in this program need to head to the LIHEAP website and fill out a short questionnaire to see if they qualify.
Helping seniors find the right weatherization programs can be a challenging task for overworked caregivers. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Austin, TX, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
Much like LIHEAP, WAP is a federally funded program operated on a state-by-state basis. The program is currently overseen by the Department of Energy, and it helps more than 35,000 homeowners every year. Those who qualify for WAP may receive free or low-cost weatherization services and upgrades, including the installation of energy-efficient appliances and HVAC components. According to the Department of Energy, these upgrades can save older adults more than $300 a year. Low-income families are usually prioritized, but thousands of seniors qualify every year as well. Even seniors who don’t own homes might be eligible to receive some discounts. Aging adults who rent may need to have their landlords apply for WAP.
Weatherizing the home can reduce utility bills, but it may not make daily activities any easier for your parent. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Austin Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (512) 623-7800.