Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weatherization Money to PA

from yesterday's inbox:

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that Pennsylvania has been selected to receive $3.8 million to continue the state’s success and innovation under the Weatherization Assistance Program. Pennsylvania is increasing its efforts under the Recovery Act’s weatherization program and is continuing to accelerate the pace of weatherization in the state. From April to June 2010, the state weatherized over 1,000 homes more than it weatherized from January to March. In total, Pennsylvania has already weatherized nearly 8,400 homes under the Recovery Act.

Pennsylvania’s efforts are contributing to the success of the program nationwide. After ramping up last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at its optimal rate – approximately 25,000 homes per month. In June, states reported that nearly 31,800 homes were weatherized with Recovery Act funding – the most ever in a month. This summer alone, more than 80,000 homes will be weatherized across the country. A state-by-state breakdown of homes weatherized in the second quarter of 2010 is available HERE.

“The weatherization program is successfully delivering energy and cost savings for American families while helping to rebuild our economy,” said Secretary Chu. “These investments in energy efficiency under the Recovery Act are putting thousands of people to work in Pennsylvania and across the country as part of the clean energy future.”

As part of the awards announced today, two high-performing local weatherization agencies in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton have been selected to receive $1.4 million to install hybrid water heaters and in-home energy use monitors. The award selections were part of nearly $90 million in awards under the Recovery Act announced nationally to complement and expand existing weatherization programs and deliver even greater energy bill savings for local families. More information about the awards is available HERE.

In addition to the $1.4 million Recovery Act award, the Pennsylvania Commission on Economic Opportunity, based in Wilkes-Barre, has been selected to receive $2.4 million to evaluate the additional energy savings potential of in-home display devices that help households manage their energy use. The project will complement an existing program to weatherize 2,500 low-income homes in eastern and central Pennsylvania. The effectiveness of several models of in-home displays will be tested and evaluated. The project will also demonstrate the use of carbon credits and energy efficiency certificates as an innovative financial sustainability strategy for weatherization activities. This award is part of nearly $30 million in awards to forge a new range of weatherization partnerships and implement groundbreaking, innovative delivery and financing models, technologies, and services, further accelerating DOE’s effort to build a sustainable, residential energy efficiency industry.

The weatherization program is also creating thousands of jobs locally – putting carpenters, electricians, and factory workers back to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems. According to state reports, the Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2010, including more than 700 jobs in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income families save energy and money by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. According to a recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weatherization services save families an average of more than $400 in energy costs during the first year after home retrofits are installed.

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