The Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program got off to a rocky start but is now in smooth sailing territory. The DOE recently announced that about 200 programs funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have created or retained 13,000 jobs. The DOE is continuing its support for this program with the recent announcement of $120 million in new funding.
This new series of awards will be granted to 120 programs across the country. Once workers are trained, they will be sent out into the field to help provide weatherization upgrades for qualified American families. These upgrades help families save money on their energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint. More Americans gaining valuable skills and employment in a down economy, families saving money on energy bills, and a smaller carbon footprint — what more can you ask for?
The majority of the funds, $90 million, will be awarded to some of the nation’s most successful weatherization programs. These programs are located in 27 states and the new round of funding will allow for renewable energy and more advanced weatherization installations. Recipients of this $90 million in funding will work with families to install solar heating systems, solar panels and shingles, cool roofs, tankless hot water systems, in-home energy monitors, and even residential wind turbines.
The other $30 million in funding will go to 16 organizations that have focused on weatherizing low-income single and multifamily dwellings. These programs are beyond the scope of the previous weatherization awards and include nonprofit organizations, community groups like Habitat for Humanity and YouthBuild USA, city governments, and even universities.
For example, The Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning in Maryland has received $1.3 million to help fund the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. Funds will not only provide weatherization upgrades on qualified properties but will also focus on mold reduction and the stabilization of lead paint. Lead poisoning in children is a major health concern and so programs like this are not just helping families save money on energy costs through weatherization upgrades but they are also providing a healthier living environment for these families.
To learn more about the projects that are focusing on more than just weatherization upgrades, download the DOE’s list of Grantees Selected for the Weatherization Innovation Pilot Program (PDF).