DEEP Officially Launches the Residential Energy Preparation Services (REPS) Program to Address Barriers to Weatherization
$12 Million Program to Remove Health Hazards and Enable Energy Efficiency Upgrades
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the official launch of the Residential Energy Preparation Services (REPS) program, which will help income-eligible homes remove health hazards and access energy efficiency upgrades to save money on energy costs.
REPS removes health and safety barriers (asbestos, mold, knob-and-tube wiring, etc.) when these barriers prevent weatherization (such as insulation and air sealing) work for income-eligible households. The initial funding of $12.3 million for this program comes from the federally funded State Energy Program (SEP), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“The launch of this program means we can help Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents improve the health, safety, and affordability of their homes,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Some of our older homes have health or safety-related barriers, like mold or asbestos, that prevent contractors from making improvements, meaning we can’t deliver money-saving upgrades equitably. This program will lead to weatherization and energy efficiency home improvements and other energy retrofits that can save money and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
The program is administered by the nationally recognized non-profit International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST).
To enroll in REPS, households must be deferred by Connecticut’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) or Home Energy Solutions – Income Eligible (HES-IE) program due to barriers to weatherization. REPS aims to remediate over 100 homes in 2023, over 200 homes in 2024, and over 300 homes in 2025, for a total of over 600 homes with the current funding amounts. Those goals may be adjusted, and the program may be extended based on funding allocations.
Through a pilot phase over the past few months, REPS has already remediated several homes. Health and safety barriers addressed during the pilot phase included mold, asbestos, vermiculite, and knob and tube wiring, with mold being the predominant issue. Customers during the pilot phase have been extremely satisfied with the results, with one customer from Windsor writing, “Thank you so much for your help with assisting me [during] the whole project. I am so grateful and thankful.” This initial feedback represents the core mission of the program and the value REPS services can bring to people’s lives.
“I am grateful when an idea put on paper becomes an initiative that helps people save money across Connecticut,” said State Senator Rick Lopes (D-Berlin, Farmington, New Britain). “The remediation of homes across our state through the REPS program is the outcome of legislation I helped pass in 2021. I am grateful to Governor Lamont, the staff at DEEP, the Sierra Club, CCAG, and other environmental advocates for all their hard work setting the groundwork for this program which has officially launched. I am hopeful we can work to further the goals of this initiative in the future.”
“DSS is proud to partner with DEEP in the launch of the Residential Energy Preparation Services (REPS) Program,” said Peter Hadler, Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS). “This important initiative leverages federal funding to address barriers to home weatherization, improve energy efficiency, and make homes safer for the low-income families that we serve. Helping state residents to have a safe and warm home while reducing our state’s energy burden achieves key goals of the energy assistance program. DSS is excited to put these funds into action and help our state residents with their energy needs.”
“ICAST is proud to be the implementer for Connecticut’s new Residential Energy Preparation Services program,” Ravi Malhotra, founder and president of ICAST, said. “There is such a need for this type of work. Too many residents have been left with few or no options to address the barriers preventing them from receiving weatherization upgrades. Delivering solutions that help low-income residents live in healthier, more comfortable, and more affordable homes is central to ICAST’s purpose. We look forward to creating these benefits for hundreds of households across Connecticut.”For more information, please visit the REPS website or contact your local Community Action Agency or utility provider to enroll in a weatherization program. For any further questions, contact an ICAST customer outreach coordinator at CT@icastusa.org or (844) 843-4585.