We qualified for this program this year, and are so excited. We were so excited about it we even cleaned every room in the house (no small task, mind you, since we never really moved in properly). I spent every night for a week cleaning, unpacking, moving furniture, making the house livable. Just so we could participate in this program.
And it's an awesome program.
Someone out there actually has a brain after all.
Here's the thing: Colorado (at least the urban parts--I can't speak for the rural parts, having never lived there) is really big on "being Green." Energy conservation is a big deal.
So someone noticed that the people who use the most energy are the ones who can't afford to replace outdated energy-eaters (like furnaces and fridges) and fix their insulation and leaky windows. They also noticed that those are often the people who end up having to apply for public assistance to pay those outlandish energy bills that partially result from their inability to update things and make them energy efficient.
Someone then realized it would be more cost-effective and environmentally sound to help people update their homes than to just hand out money all the time to pay for inefficiency.
So we have the weatherization program. And we qualified this year.
And the house was clean (as the contract states it must be) when the energy auditor came. He was great. It helped that he's a recording engineer and producer when the economy is good (it's a bad time for musicians, economically, just like for so many professions right now). He spent 3+ hours here checking everything out and then he listed the things they can do to our house to make it energy efficient: new fridge (ours apparently uses the same amount of energy as 4 new fridges do), repair the broken window, storm windows all around, seal the leaky door in the master bedroom, repair the hole in the ceiling that goes up to the broken swamp cooler, insulation in the floors of the kids bedrooms (which overhang our unheated garage, so the heating ducts have to essentially go unprotected outside for 7 feet before they reach the vents--and those vents have always blown cold air into the house in the winter instead of hot air). He thoroughly checked our furnace and water heater (they're fine. Phew.). They'll replace lightbulbs with CFL bulbs. They'll possibly insulate the space between the ceiling and roof better. He also fixed the front casement window that wouldn't close all the way (and the house is much quieter for it).
All in all, we are VERY excited. Also very grateful.
It was worth the pain of facing the fibro and getting the house clean.