WISCONSIN RENTAL WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM
Starting January 1, 1985, most residential properties in Wisconsin have had to meet minimum energy conservation standards at the time of ownership transfer. Private state-certified inspectors are hired by owners to check properties for compliance with the standards. The Register of Deeds in your county will not record the transfer of a property unless:
- An inspector has certified the property.
- The buyer has filed a Stipulation to bring it up to Code within a year; or
- The property or transfer is shown on the Real Estate Transfer Return to be excluded from the Code; or
- The buyer has filed a Waiver with the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) stating that the building will be demolished within two years.
As a state certified weatherization inspector, Pam Teasdale will inspect your property to issue a Certificate of Compliance or inform you of necessary repairs needed to be in compliance.
The standards are the result of State legislation (s.101.122, Wis. Stats.) directing the Department of Safety and Professional Services to develop energy conservation standards.
The benefits of these weatherization standards for residential rental properties include:
- Overall demand for heating fuels is reduced, thereby helping to stabilize fuel costs for everyone.
- Wisconsin’s dependence on imported heating fuels is decreased. (Wisconsin imports over 95% of its energy.)
- The utilization of Wisconsin’s weatherization workforce and products is increased.
- The burden of energy-inefficient rental units is shifted from tenants, who are necessarily limited in any corrective action, to landlords by requiring them to upgrade their buildings at the time of property transfer.
- The cost of upgrading the building to the carefully chosen standards is usually recovered in lowered heating costs. Thereafter, the savings continue and the building is more valuable.
- The following is a summary of the standards contained in Chapter SPS 367 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code. For specific details, consult the Code itself.
THE WEATHERIZATION STANDARDS
The following weatherization standards are code requirements:
- WINDOWS must be double-glazed or equipped with storm windows. Exempted are windows in doors and furnace rooms. Windows located in basements, which are not habitable rooms may be permanently sealed and insulated to R-5 in lieu of double-glazing or installing storm windows.
- PATIO DOORS AND INWARD-SWINGING EXTERIOR DOORS must be insulated and double-glazed; or be equipped with a storm door, unless they are provided with a vestibule. Storm doors must have self-closing devices.
- WEATHERSTRIPPING must be installed on exterior storm doors.
- CAULKING or glazing compound must be applied to exterior joints of storm doors and to glazing of storm windows.
The Department will accept blower door testing of the building, per SPS 367.11(3), in lieu of the prescriptive infiltration measures.
- MOISTURE CONTROL – Ventilation must be installed in attics and crawl spaces at a rate of 1 sq. ft. of free area of ventilation per 300 sq. ft. of floor area. A vapor barrier must cover the ground in crawl spaces.
- INSULATION must be installed in “accessible” areas to the levels shown in the Code (see the following condensed table). “Accessible” means the space can be reached without removal or alteration of any finish materials of the permanent structure. For example, enclosed wall cavities are considered inaccessible and do not require insulation. However, an unfinished attic with floorboards must be insulated under the boards, if not insulated on top.