'Stimulus' Weatherization Program Bogged Down by Red Tape...

’Stimulus’ Weatherization Program Bogged Down by Red Tape…](http://abcnews.go.com/WN/Politics/stimulus-weatherization-jobs-president-obama-congress-recovery-act/story?id=9780935)


I have been teaching weatherization courses all over Texas for the TDHCA. The Federal money (our money) goes to the TDHCA and then to approximately 40 non-profit groups in Texas to weatherize low income family homes. The money was supposedly available in Sept but because of the Federal requirements and red tape very few if any homes have been weatherized. I do expect, however, that shortly some of the $360 million given to Texas for weatherization will be used. Of course the company with the training contracts (who I teach for) have been paid!

Of course they could have done it like the previous administration did funding projects in Iraq. Ship planeloads of cash directly to private contractors with no oversight or standards to be met. That worked out real well don’t you think.

So the Obama administration wants folks who do work under this program to be paid a typical wage for an area instead of letting contractors just pay minimum wage and put the profits in their pockets. And this is a problem why?

As was noted in the report it’s a reasonable expectation that the money will flow more freely and that more work will be done.

Over $50,000 per house weatherized.

Now that’s government efficiency at it’s finest.:shock:

If the only thing done was 8100 homes I’d have to agree that the cost per would be extreme. But I suppose the question I’d have would be what it took to create a national database of prevailing wages in the specific trades? We are a large country and compiling that information from scratch wouldn’t be cheap. The article doesn’t provide sufficient information to take make an estimate of that cost.

I think it would be fair to back out those start up administrative costs to be able to get a better understanding of cost per home.

Of course there have been issues ramping up. The targets for increases in production were huge. I’ve watched some amazingly great job training happen. I visited three Wx jobs in progress here in Central Vermont this week and was blown away by the high quality work I saw being done.

All three homes were uninsulated—really!—and, I’m sure had been very uncomfortable. The crews were truely experts and dense packed and air sealed them very effectively. I won’t know the cost savings for a while but they will be significant. The average cost of the work here, materials and labor, is $6000/home. Impressive.

All is not as bleak as some would have us believe!

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you next week in Raleigh for the RESNET conference.

Thermally yours,

John Snell
ASNT NDT Thermal/Infrared Level III #48166
The Snell Group


I worked with Davis-Bacon wage rates/charts for over 20 years. There are already wages in the charts that apply to laborers installing caulk and insulation. Someone decided to reinvent the wheel only because they could. All the work done by “cash for calukers” could have been clasified as carpenters or carpenters helpers or labor. Typical government waste of money. In the end someone was deciding if an installer should be paid $13.45 or $13.65 per hour depending on the location and in the meantime no one was working for a year while the 20 cent per hour debate went on.

Every time I bring up fraud in the program over at the Linked-In forum they cut our arguments off. :shock:


In 2007/2008, through winning an RFP bid, I did a pilot project for the first low income weatherization project in our province. The target spending was CAN $5,500/house.

Last week I was asked by an energy auditor, who wanted to grow his business, to participate in a gov RFP as a consultant/mentor to him for the fourth phase of the program. The target spending is still $5,500! Not much has changed.


Government bueracracy can be truly amazing at times. But considering that these same bueracrats can end up having to justify what they do to congress on national TV it shouldn’t be surprising that there is a strong CYA mentality.

Bueryacracy, Your not kidding!!!

For every weatherization job I do I have to…

Pre and post blower door test, with thermal imaging (my choice on IR, QC )
Insulation certification
Davis Bacon payroll report
Employee ARRA log report

When The job is finished I have to email the invoice along with the insulation certification, this triggers a QC inspection with the state.

D/B report has to be sent in within 5 days of payroll closing. I have a payroll company so the info. is on a report that’s sent to me with the checks. This gets emailed.

Finally, my guys sign the employee log and signed copies of all of the above paperwork gets mailed to the agency I’m working for.

Finally, please don’t ask what happens if we fail the QC test.

I don’t take Federal or State money. Too many strings attached, to much inefficiency and fraud and graft and to much being beholding to the Government.

I would rather have real clients, who pay right away.

Just my opinion.