Department of Energy Assists Low-Income Families With Home Weatherization
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $111.6 million in weatherization grants to 30 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 FY2007 funding is $204.5 million and will provide weatherization to approximately 70,000 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 include adding insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing heating and cooling systems, and providing health and safety diagnostic services. Other benefits include increased housing affordability and property values, lower owner and renter turnover, and reduced fire risks. In 2006, DOE helped weatherize approximately 96,500 homes.
On average, Americans spend five percent of their income on paying energy bills, but for lower-income households the costs average 16 percent. These costs can include anything from heating and cooling their homes to running the lights, computers, and other appliances.
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. Most recent awards are for the 30 states that began their weatherization year on April 1.
These awards include: