Five states have reached a new milestone with their Recovery Act-funded weatherization programs. New Hampshire, New Mexico, Montana, Minnesota and Utah have each completed at least 30 percent of their home weatherization projects, which unlocks the remaining 50 percent of their Recovery Act funding. This additional funding will allow these states to continue their weatherization projects, which keeps Americans working in green collar jobs.

These five states are joining seven others that have recently reached the 30 percent milestone: Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Vermont and Washington.

The Weatherization Assistance Program in each of these states has received Recovery Act funding to provide important weatherization upgrades to low-income households. These weatherization projects improve the home’s energy efficiency, which lowers annual fuel costs. For a low-income household, any opportunity to reduce expenses is welcomed with open arms. The added benefit is that a more energy-efficient house is also better for the environment.

Weatherization projects can include a variety of services, starting with a residential energy audit. The audit allows weatherization contractors to determine the most efficient plan of action, so homeowners will get the most bang for the buck. Upgrades include weather stripping, sealing drafty doors and windows, caulking cracks in the building, and even upgrading heating and cooling systems.

These five states have already completed weatherization projects on nearly 10,000 homes but expect to complete the process on an additional 19,000 or so properties. The weatherization projects have gainfully employed 800 workers since the start of 2010. At a time when the unemployment rate remains high and jobless gains are small, this is welcome news to those 800 families who are benefiting from the push for green jobs.

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