Weatherization Program Recruits Reservation Homeowners

May 19, 2017

Weatherization Assistance Program manager Theotis McCabe works on new qualification program.
Credit Darrah Perez

The Weatherization Assistance Program is currently seeking applications from enrolled Northern Arapaho members who are homeowners living on the reservation. The program helps low income homeowners save on utility bills.

Tribes across the United States have weatherization programs, but here in Wyoming, the Northern Arapaho Tribe is one out of only three tribal communities who receive funds from the Department of Energy.

Theotis McCabe is operations manager of the tribe’s Weatherization Assistance Program. He said the goal is to lower the utility costs for homeowners. McCabe said, it was frustrating because he didn’t know about the program when he first started.  Driving by seeing new windows and doors, he thought that’s all it was. Until he started researching and learning about the Weatherization Assistance Program.

McCabe said the program can improve daily lives with simple fixes such as getting a furnace going after not being used for several winters, or fixing drafts around windows or doors, or changing lightbulbs to energy efficient types.

He says DOE now determines whether people qualify for the program using scientific testing. The program uses computer software that they follow, which determines eligibility based on how DOE developed this program. In drastic cases, the assistance program can change a window or door, but he states, “We are not the window and door shop anymore, unfortunately. I tell everybody just come in and apply, you never know if you may qualify.”

The weatherization program of the Arapaho tribe encourages enrolled homeowners to submit an application. With only three tribes as direct grantee with the Department of Energy, the chance is good to receive aid.

McCabe said, he hopes to see more people applying than in the past.