Five More States Reach Milestone for Recovery Act Weatherization
June 23, 2010
DOE announced on June 18 that five more states have reached an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act milestone by completing weatherization work for more than 30% of the low-income homes they have targeted. Because Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Utah have each met this requirement, along with a series of reporting and monitoring milestones for DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program, the states will have access to the remaining 50% of their funding for the program. Of the more than 9,000 homes completed by this group of states, Minnesota has the lion's share, with 5,268 residences completed as of May 31. The Gopher State now gets use of its full $131.9 million in Recovery Act funding, intended to cover upgrades for a total of more than 16,800 Minnesota homes. The states join seven others that recently marked this milestone: Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington.
Since $5 billion in Recovery Act funding was allocated to accelerate weatherization in 2009, more than 108,000 homes nationally have been improved, saving families more than $47 million on their energy bills, while supporting more than 10,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2010. For 33 years, DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program has helped low-income households conserve energy by engaging local community action agencies or non-profit organizations to provide services ranging from home energy audits to installing insulation and weatherstripping. Program representatives can even replace inefficient heating and cooling systems, if needed. The work pays immediate dividends. According to a recent study by DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weatherization services save recipients an average of more than $400 in energy costs during the first year. See the DOE press release and the Web site for DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program.