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Energy Department Awards $92.5 Million to 19 States to Weatherize Homes of Low-Income Families

July 18, 2005 - 2:22pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman announced that $92.5 million has been awarded to 19 states to improve the energy efficiency of low-income family homes. The Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program makes improvements such as plugging air leaks, improving insulation and tuning air conditioning and heating systems, which reduces energy waste and lowers energy bills. Through DOE's weatherization program, approximately 92,300 homes will be upgraded this year.

"The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program helps thousands of low-income families by installing energy efficiency measures in their homes," Secretary Bodman said. "High energy costs can really pinch low income families. Through this program we are helping Americans identify simple ways to reduce home energy use and save money on their energy bills."

Earlier this week Secretary Bodman, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson kicked off the Partnership for Home Energy Efficiency, aimed at reducing household energy costs by 10 percent over the next decade. Through this partnership, the three federal agencies have consolidated energy saving information on one convenient website: http://www.energysavers.gov/.

DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program gives priority to low-income households with elderly members, people with disabilities and children. Low-income families spend an average of 14 percent of their income on energy. It is estimated that weatherization can reduce an average home's energy costs by $237 a year.

The program is administered by states, tribes and 970 local agencies. Every state, the District of Columbia, the Navajo Nation and the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona will receive weatherization grants this year. The awards announced today are for the 19 states that began their weatherization program year on July 1.

The weatherization assistance program performs energy audits to identify the most cost-effective energy upgrades for each home. These typically include adding insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing heating and cooling systems and providing health and safety diagnostic services. For every dollar spent, it is estimated that weatherization returns $1.40 in energy savings to American families. Other weatherization benefits include increased housing affordability, increased property values and reduced fire risks. DOE funds provide weatherization training and technical assistance, supplementing weatherization investments from the Department of Health and Human Services' Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, utility public benefit funds and other state and local sources.

The grants awarded today are:

STATE

FY 2005 APPROPRIATION

Arizona

$1,364,754

Colorado

$5,504,036

Illinois

$13,910,793

Kentucky

$4,539,785

Maryland

$2,664,081

Minnesota

$9,898,845

Missouri

$6,029,907

Nebraska

$2,504,834

Nevada

$838,908

New Mexico

$1,730,427

North Carolina

$4,176,834

North Dakota

$2,507,804

Pennsylvania

$14,772,357

South Dakota

$1,925,053

Tennessee

$4,199,886

Utah

$2,086,136

Virginia

$4,034,302

Wisconsin

$8,606,650

Wyoming

$1,179,511

More information on DOE's programs to improve the energy efficiency of buildings is available by visiting DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website: http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ or by calling 1-877-337-3463.

Media contacts:
Chris Kielich, 202/586-5806
Tom Welch, 202/586-5806

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