Last week Vice President Joe Biden announced that the Weatherization Assistance Program hit the 200,000 home mark. That is 200,000 low-income properties, both single and multi-family residential units, have been weatherized thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Weatherization Assistance Program did get off to a slow start and although there are still some bumps in certain markets, more than 30 states are one-third of the way through reaching their initial target goal.
So how much money are these low-income families saving? The DOE cites a study from Oak Ridge National Laboratory that reports that homeowners save an average of more than $400 during the first year post-retrofit. When you’re on a tight budget or a fixed income, the nearly $40/month in energy savings can really help.
The program is helping families reduce their energy costs with weatherization upgrades but it is also helping Americans obtain gainful employment in a good green job. According to Cathy Zoi, assistant secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the program has created or retained an estimated 13,000 jobs and the United States now has “experienced trained workers in every state in the country” in order to help people at all income levels weatherize their home.