Maine weatherization program receives grant
The Maine State Housing Authority’s (MaineHousing) housing weatherization program has recently learned that it is receiving funding for energy-efficiency upgrades from Detroit-based General Motors’ Chevrolet division. The car manufacturer plans to offer more grants to similar public programs as part of its $40 million multi-year program to prevent 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air.
As part of MaineHousing’s Weatherization Program, energy professionals will improve 5,500 low-income homes by blowing recycled-content insulation into walls and ceilings, replacing loose attic hatches with tight-fitting ones, sealing chimneys, insulating exposed foundations, and tuning heating systems for efficiency. The initiative aims to reduce home energy use, improve air quality and cut residents’ heating and cooling bills, as well as eliminate up to 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. “MaineHousing will use funding from Chevy to weatherize the homes of families who can’t afford the fuel to stay warm,” said MaineHousing Director Dale McCormick.
The exact amount of the Chevrolet grant to MaineHousing has not yet been determined, MaineHousing spokesman Dan Simpson says. MaineHousing’s Weatherization Program also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
Chevrolet is soliciting investment proposals nationwide through its independent third-party investor, Bonneville Environmental Foundation. “We’ve moved rapidly to get the carbon reduction investment process under way, and we’ve selected an important energy-efficiency project we can help make a reality,” said Rick Scheidt, executive director of Chevrolet marketing. “We are reviewing other programs like this that could positively influence change in cities across the nation.” Chevrolet estimates its carbon reduction goal is equivalent to the emissions in 2011 from driving the 1.9 million vehicles it is expected to sell in the United States over the next year.