National Weatherization Award presented to David Hepinstall at NASCSP Annual Training Conference For the second time this year, AEA’s executive director, David Hepinstall, has been awarded a major national award for his leadership in the energy efficiency field and specifically for his significant contributions to the Weatherization Assistance Program.

David was presented with the James Gardner Service Award by the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) at its annual training conference held on September 10-12, 2014 in Raleigh, NC.

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has helped millions of low income Americans by making energy more affordable and making home a safer and more comfortable place to live, also leaving them more disposable income for other necessities. But WAP has also been the impetus and the testing ground for much of what we understand today about building science and many of the innovative testing and diagnostic tools and building materials that have enabled buildings to perform more efficiently. The program has built an industry that strengthens local communities and economies.

Under David’s leadership, AEA has developed a strong specialization in improving the energy efficiency of multifamily buildings, in affordable housing and the older private buildings and neighborhoods where low income households are concentrated. David has made it his personal mission to ensure that low income individuals living in multifamily rental housing have the opportunity to benefit from WAP. He has pushed to ensure that buildings housing predominantly low income households could obtain energy efficiency upgrades to their central systems as well as inside the apartments, enhancing the health, safety and comfort of residents. He has supported policies to insure that owners of multifamily buildings contribute to improvements in their properties and not be permitted to jack up rents based on improvements made with government dollars, helping to keep rents affordable for existing tenants.

In brief remarks, David stated his appreciation for receiving an award named for a leader at the US Department of Energy who had been so personally influential to him in his early years in the program. He acknowledged the extensive national network of individuals whose passion and commitment to Weatherization and the people it serves have spanned many decades or even a lifetime of work delivering this essential national program. He thanked AEA’s board of directors and network of WAP subgrantees in New York for their support and their dedication to multifamily Weatherization.

In his 24 years in Weatherization, David has participated on policy advisory groups to promote and strengthen Weatherization at the local, state and federal levels. Representing both local agencies and Weatherization Training Centers, he has been a member of the NYS Policy Advisory Council, the Department of Energy’s Millennium Committee, and the Weatherization Plus Committee. He has worked long hours on task forces and work groups to make Weatherization a successful program that would continue to enjoy bipartisan support in a partisan era. Dave and key AEA staff have contributed programmatic and technical expertise to the development of job task analyses, standard work specifications, technical guidelines, and more to make multifamily Weatherization a reality across the US.

“This award from NASCSP, which is a leading advocate not only for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program but also for the full range of community service programs offered across the United States – many of them by Community Action Agencies – means a great deal to me” said Hepinstall, who earlier in his career spent ten years providing research, developing programs to address issues such as homelessness and illiteracy, and oversaw the funding and performance of programs delivered by community based organizations at New York City’s Community Development Agency (now DYCD). “It’s kind of a full circle moment.”

Yes, it is.

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