Changing a water heaterThere was a lot of buzz in one Bethlehem neighborhood Wednesday, Aug. 13 — not to mention a lot of sawing, drilling, caulking and other activity — all in the name of home weatherization.

In all, 20 homes in one townhouse development were scheduled to receive weatherization improvements in a single day, through our Winter Relief Assistance Program. The blitz was born out of an effort to draw more attention to the program for income-eligible customers.

“We really wanted to create some media interest in this program because we know there are many eligible customers out there who aren’t taking advantage of WRAP’s great benefits,” said Chris Schoemaker, a customer programs director who works with WRAP and the community-based organizations that help deliver it to communities.

PPL Electric Utilities teamed up Wednesday the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley to coordinate the WRAP work in Bethlehem. We’ve operated WRAP since 1985 and weatherized about 93,000 homes during that time. The CACLV is one of the agencies that deliver WRAP services on our behalf.

“We want energy efficiency to become contagious,” Schoemaker said.

WeatherizationThe program has three main objectives

  • To lower customer electric bills
  • To increase home comfort level
  • To refer eligible customers to other assistance programs provided by PPL Electric Utilities and others, such as the CACLV.

CACLV Executive Director Alan Jennings said weatherization programs like WRAP have an impact that is “pretty extraordinary” because they lower electricity use, which can lead to lower bills for families. That, in turn, frees up their income for use on other necessities.

One of the residents whose home was being weatherized said her family was already energy-conscious. “This will allow us to do even better,” she said. “It makes an enormous difference.”