Tuesday, June 23, 2009

$453 Million to Expand Weatherization Will Spur Renovation and Energy Auditor Jobs _Green Earl

Solar, Wind, Bio, Energy News And Commentary By_Green Earl, 30 year Pioneer In Conservation & Solar Energy


$453 Million to Expand Weatherization Will Spur Renovation and Energy Auditor Jobs

The future looks bright for anyone in the energy auditor business.

The U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced that the Department of Energy is providing more than $453 million in Recovery Act funding to expand weatherization assistance programs in 15 additional states. These funds, along with additional funds to be disbursed after the states meet certain Recovery Act milestones, will help these states achieve their goal of weatherizing more than 165,000 homes, lowering energy costs for low-income families that need it, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating green jobs in the energy efficiency sector across the country.



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The following states will receive 40 percent of their total weatherization funding authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act today: California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia. Under the Recovery Act, states may spend up to 20 percent of funds to hire and train workers.

Secretary Chu:

These awards demonstrate the Obama Administration’s strong commitment to moving quickly as part of the country’s economic recovery – creating jobs and doing important work for the American people — while ensuring that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly.Today’s investments will save money for hard working families, reduce pollution, strengthen local economies and help move America toward a clean energy future.

DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program will be available to families making up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level – or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. Weatherization projects allow low-income families to save money by making their homes more energy efficient, which results in average savings of 32 percent for heating bills and savings of hundreds of dollars per year on overall energy bills. States will spend approximately $6,500 to weatherize each home.

The 15 states receiving funds today submitted aggressive and innovative plans to expand their weatherization programs:

•California ($74,324,424 awarded today) will leverage a network of over 50 non-profits, local governments, and community action associations to perform weatherization services at over 50,000 homes. Prior to weatherizing a home, weatherization providers will use national auditing tools to conduct home energy audits that will help inform which weatherization activities should occur in a particular home. In order to ensure quality, the state will also mandate that a third party inspect all weatherized properties, measuring performance based on the quality of work and the speed in which it is implemented. Additionally, since the program will greatly increase the demand for jobs in the energy efficiency sector, the state will follow the recommendations of the California Green Collar Jobs Council by employing members of the California Conservation Corps, Youthbuild and other youth employment groups. Outreach for the program will be conducted through canvassing neighborhoods, local advertising, and by cooperating with landlords and property managers.

After demonstrating successful implementation of their plan, the state will receive more than $92 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $185 million.

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