Participation in a Community Residential Weatherization Program
Marvin E. Olsen and Valencia A. Fonseca
Energy conservation is the primary source for meeting future energy needs in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA, and many utilities are developing conservation programs based on financial incentives. This study investigated a residential weatherization grant program in one community to discover why households do or do not participate in the program. Seven major reasons are suggested to explain taking weatherization actions. The energy savings resulting from those actions are also measured and found to be rather minimal overall.
The United States has never adopted a national energy conservation policy, which has greatly impeded the development of effective conservation programs throughout the country. A quite different situation exists, however, in the Pacific Northwest region, consisting of the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. In 1980, Congress passed the Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act, which stipulated that this region was to formulate a comprehensive Regional Plan for meeting future energy needs ( Bonneville Power Administration, 1981). Although the Act pertains only to electricity, by necessity it required the development of a broad policy framework for all