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Title: Personal Insights and Anecdotes about the Weatherization Assistance Program Process Field Study

The present report is based on the research conducted for the Process Field Study between March and September 2011. The Process Field Study documents how Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) services were delivered to clients, and the quality with which those services were delivered. The assessments were conducted by visiting 19 agencies in 19 states around the country interviewing agency managers, staff, and contractors; observing program intake along, with 43 audits, 45 measure installation and 37 final inspections; and conducting debriefing interviews with clients and weatherization staff following the observation of service delivery. In this report, we turn to detailed observations of a few field interactions. The client stories from our observations illustrate some of the ways clients and crew interact to build the success of the program, but shows there will always be unanticipated obstacles to building trust and getting the program to the public. Stories of staff and crew career paths indicate that weatherization technology and techniques are being learned and used by technicians out of the new home construction industry and that their new knowledge provides them with technical tools and methods that many hope to take back into the construction industry if and when they return. Thismore » report is organized according to the four stages of weatherization: intake, audit, installation, and inspection. It contributes to our understanding of the area where policy, environment, culture, and individual decisions influence social innovation. The anecdotes reveal the realities of implementing programs for the benefit of the greater good at minimal cost and sacrifice in times of ever restricting budgets. As the authors revisited their field notes and compiled memorable narratives to communicate the essence of the weatherization experience, they identified three key takeaways that summarize the major issues. First, in WAP as in all services there will always be challenges to reaching the community needing to be served. Second, crew and staff learn new skills and gain experience that can be and are applied in jobs elsewhere. Finally, in the best cases, changes from the weatherization experience permeate communities in unanticipated ways.« less
  1. Anthropology Imagination, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
WI1302000; CEWI010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
low income weatherization; field observations; social science