Doe Releases $140.3 Million For Low-Income Families’ Home Weatherization
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $140.3 million in weatherization program grants to 31 states and the Navajo Nation to make energy efficiency improvements in homes of low-income families; weatherization can reduce an average home’s energy costs by $358 annually. Total Fiscal Year 2006 funding is $243 million and will provide weatherization to approximately 96,560 homes.
For every dollar spent, weatherization returns $1.53 in energy savings over the life of the measures. DOE’s weatherization program performs energy audits to identify the most cost-effective measures for each home, which typically includes adding insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing heating and cooling systems, and providing health and safety diagnostic services.
Other benefits of weatherization include increased housing affordability, increased property values, job creation, lower owner and renter turnover, and reduced fire risks. In 2005, DOE helped weatherize more than 92,000 homes.
On average, Americans spend 3.5% of their income on paying energy bills, but for lower-income households the costs average 14%. These costs can include anything from heating and cooling their homes to running the lights, computers and other appliances that need electricity.
DOE’s weatherization program grants are distributed by state energy offices through more than 900 local agencies. Every state, the District of Columbia, the Navajo Nation and the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona will receive weatherization grants this year.
Awards announced most recently are for the 31 states and the Navajo Nation that begin their weatherization year on April 1. The remaining 19 states and the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona will receive funding during the latter half of 2006.
FY 2006 Weatherization grants are as follows:
New Hampshire $1,593,171
New Jersey $5,266,959
New York $21,818,047
Rhode Island $1,253,702
South Carolina $1,982,643
West Virginia $3,320,985
Navajo Grant: $362,433