Weatherization Day 2009 Gets a Boost from Federal Stimulus Money
Since 1976, The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has been making homes of low-income families more energy efficient. To highlight the efforts across the country, Weatherization Day is celebrated every October 30. This year the program received a substantial boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. One state leading the way in weatherization is Ohio, which plans to use the $266.8 million ARRA WAP grant to increase the energy efficiency of more than 32,000 homes. In July alone Ohio weatherized 951 homes, providing such services as adding insulation, sealing leaks, and modernizing heating and cooling equipment. With ARRA funding through March 2012, Ohio estimates it will create 590 new jobs and retain 487. In New Mexico, it is estimated that at least 2,300 homes will be weatherized every year for the next 3 years using the state’s $26 million ARRA WAP funds. Weatherization saves an average of 32% in gas space heating. In recognition of National Weatherization Day, Matt Rogers, Senior Advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu for Recovery Act Implementation, recorded the following video: http://vimeo.com/7314879. In addition to encouraging all Americans to install energy efficiency measures in their own homes, he emphasizes the energy and cost benefits of improved energy efficiency and he expresses appreciation to the nation's weatherization network for its past accomplishments and its continued commitment to serving low-income citizens. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Weatherization Assistance Program will continue to grow and deliver results for American families across the country. WAP was awarded $5 billion through the 2009 ARRA. To participate, homeowners must have a maximum income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and can use up to $6,500 for energy efficiency upgrades to their home. The Weatherization Assistance Program is operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes, and U.S. Territories. Funds are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes using the most advanced technologies and testing. Since the inception of the WAP, over 6.2 million homes have been weatherized with DOE funds. For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, visit www.waptac.org or www.eere.doe.gov.