November 15, 2010 – Herndon, VA :
The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) has been selected to conduct a nationwide quality review and data collection process to support management and oversight of the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).
Under the project, IBTS will review records and on-site energy efficiency work in more than 20,000 homes throughout the country to help verify that the requirements of the WAP were met. If successful, the project may be extended for an additional year in order to continue reviewing work performed in the homes of eligible low-income families. To carry out the project, IBTS will use a nationwide network of trained and certified inspectors and its proprietary FIT system which enables a structured, highly-automated approach to quality assurance audits. The FIT system makes it possible for IBTS to provide huge amounts of real-time data directly to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), which is supervising the project on behalf of DOE.
WAP helps low-income families permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. DOE provides funds to the states which, in turn, fund a network of local agencies that carry out the weatherization services from energy audits through recommended home improvements. The long-time program received a boost of $5 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, anticipating an expanded program as the nation focuses on the greenest energy and economic value — the money we don’t spend and the energy we don’t use. Quality assurance audits are conducted at the local and state level to ensure proper use of federal funds to improve energy efficiency in low-income homes.
The nationwide data collection process is the final stage in assessing implementation of the WAP.
“IBTS drew on its many years of quality assurance and data management experience to develop an approach that will meet the broad geographic requirements of the project, the tight delivery schedule, and the need for consistent data in every individual inspection,” said IBTS Chief Executive Officer Ashok Goswami.
IBTS has already established its credentials as a quality assurance auditor for weatherization program administration with projects for the Alamo Area Regional Council of Governments in San Antonio and the North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment.
IBTS has partnered with the American Society for Home Inspectors (ASHI) to ensure that it has the skilled workforce needed to meet the project’s nationwide scope. The actual number of inspections conducted over the two-year period will be determined by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to ensure a valid sample for assessing the WAP program implementation based on the number of homes that were weatherized using Recovery funds.
“This project provides a great opportunity for IBTS to help ensure that WAP effectively meets its goal of helping low-income families reduce their energy bills,” said IBTS Board Chairman Bert Jones, Director of Engineering and Buildings for the Virginia Department of General Services. “It also offers an opportunity to showcase IBTS’s expertise in quality assurance and data collection and management.”
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