Home Weatherization Gets $120M Boost

The weatherization of homes, despite a recent survey suggesting green home retrofits don’t fit the mood of the nation at the moment, continue to occur. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has taken note of this and is putting $120 million in Recovery Act funds towards a horde of projects across the country to enable successful weatherization agencies to expand their programs while at the same time also supporting new pilot projects to demonstrate innovative weatherization delivery and financial models and new technologies.

The DOE reported yesterday that its Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at a good clip, said to be around 25,000 a month. In June, states reported that more than 31,600 homes were weatherized with Recovery Act funding, while this summer alone it is believed more than 80,000 homes will be weatherized across the country. The types of projects which fall into this category can vary, ranging from installing renewable energy systems and cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies in homes to helping families save even more on their energy bills.

Energy Trust

image via Energy Trust of Oregon

The $120 million the DOE is giving out includes around $90 million for more than 100 high-performing local weatherization providers in 27 states [PDF list] to complement and expand their existing weatherization programs. These programs are joined by 16 new ones [PDF list], which are getting the other $30 million for showing what are said to be “innovative approaches to weatherizing low-income single and multifamily homes.” Job creation is a big issue around the use of Recovery Act funds related to weatherization as well, with the DOE saying more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2010 were supported alone.

“The weatherization program under the Recovery Act is successfully creating jobs in local communities, saving money for families, and reducing carbon pollution across the country,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a statement. “The funding announced today builds on the Department’s existing investments in energy efficiency to continue to expand and drive innovations in the weatherization program that will provide even greater energy and cost savings to low-income families.”

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