BI-CAP on track to spend $1.2 million on furnace upgrades this year

Bi-County Community Action Programs, Inc. (BI-CAP) has received grant funds to upgrade clients outdated furnace equipment with new high-efficiency units.

Last year BI-CAP spent over $700,000 in furnace replacements and this year has a goal set of an additional $500,000 dollars.

The project is specifically looking for older propane or natural gas 80% furnaces that have a metal exhaust pipe in both homes and mobile homes. Boilers, oil, wood or electric heating units do not qualify.

To qualify you must apply and receive Energy Assistance through BI-CAP and own your home. Then verify if your furnace has a metal or white plastic pipe for the exhaust going from the furnace to the outside or chimney. Metal exhaust pipes could be a qualifying furnace and you should contact our office. A white exhaust pipe on the furnace is already high efficiency and does not qualify but you could still qualify for Energy Assistance if you have not applied yet.

If you meet the requirements please call the office to speak with the program administrator.

BI-CAP Weatherization office, Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:00 at 218-333-9839 Beth.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program reduces energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety. The Program supports 8,500 jobs and provides weatherization services to approximately 35,000 homes every year using DOE funds. Through the Weatherization improvements and upgrades, these households save on average $283 or more every year according to a national evaluation of the program. Since the program began in 1976, WAP has helped improve the lives of than 7 million families through weatherization services.

What is Weatherization?

The Weatherization program’s goal is to reduce our customer’s home heating costs and improve the comfort and safety of their home. When a customer’s home is weatherized, both their energy bill and fuel consumption are reduced each year for many years to come.

We weatherize both mobile homes and houses, utilizing trained, licensed and insured local construction and mechanical contractors.

Improvements to be made are determined from the energy auditors diagnostic testing of the client’s home. Items may include furnace improvements; minimize air infiltration; insulation of attic, walls, and floor; installation of bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans.

Should you be eligible and approved, the Weatherization Assistance Program is an energy efficiency program provided at no cost to you.

blower test

The Process

The first step is setting up a pre-inspection of your home. This takes about an hour to determine if your home is eligible for Weatherization.  If your home passes the pre-inspection, we schedule a full energy audit. This is when the testing and paperwork is done to determine what is needed to improve your energy consumption. This step takes 3 to 4 hours.

After the audit, a contractor will be contacted and will then come perform the work needed.

When the work is complete, there will be a final inspection by our energy auditor to make sure all work is correct and complete.

  • How Can I qualify? You must be eligible under federal income guidelines and apply through Energy Assistance. Priority is given to households with documented high fuel consumption and also to households with senior citizens, handicapped persons or young children.
  • What are the income eligibility guidelines? Based on 200% of Federal Poverty Income Guidelines effective January 12, 2022. If your household income meets the guidelines listed below, you may qualify for weatherization services.
    1  $27,180
    2  $36,620
    3  $46,060
    4  $55,500
    5  $64,940
    6  $74,380
    7  $83,820
    8  $93,260
    9  $102,700
    10  $112,140
  • Do I have to pay back money for the weatherization work I receive? No, WAP is an energy efficiency program provided at no cost to you.
  • May I apply if I am a renter? Yes, we weatherize both rental and owned homes.

Contact BI-CAP: 218-333-9839

Our weatherization staff is here to help with your questions and to set up a pre-inspection. We’re open Monday-Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.