Recovery Act funding to expand state weatherization assistance programs and create jobs
WASHINGTON, DC – June 10, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the transfer of nearly $23 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand Kansas’ state weatherization assistance program. Kansas, along with Arizona, Mississippi, and Oregon, is one of the first four states to receive the latest round of weatherization funding. Today’s announcement represents the next step in the Obama Administration’s efforts to promote energy efficiency, lower energy costs, and help support new jobs.
After submitting their comprehensive state weatherization plans that were due on May 12, these states are now receiving 40 percent of the total funding previously authorized under the legislation. This installment adds to the initial 10 percent of the states’ funding allocation that was previously awarded for training and ramp-up activities. Kansas has now received 50 percent of their Recovery Act funds for the Weatherization Assistance Program.
“The Obama Administration is moving at an unprecedented pace to award these funds to states, so that weatherization agencies can move forward, hire new workers, and immediately begin helping homeowners make their homes more energy efficient,” said Secretary Chu. “This investment will save money for hardworking families while creating jobs, reducing pollution, and moving us toward energy independence.”
Kansas ($22,576,708 awarded today) will expand their existing weatherization efforts to reach 5,820 new homes as a result of Recovery Act funding. Prior to receiving this latest round of weatherization funding, the Kansas weatherization network – a collection of public and private nonprofit agencies, including community action agencies, a regional planning commission, a housing service agency, an economic development district, and a county government – analyzed their staffing and equipment needs and have ramped up their operations. The Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program (K-WAP) has also increased the number of trainings they are running to meet the increased demand for weatherization workers. In addition, Kansas is focusing on expanding their Multi-family weatherization program to reach more low-income homes, particularly among the elderly, disabled and families with children.
After demonstrating successful implementation of their plan, the state will receive $28 million in additional funding, for a total of more than $56 million.
The Recovery Act includes a strong commitment to oversight and accountability, while prioritizing the rapid deployment of funding to help create new jobs. On March 12, DOE announced the availability of weatherization funds and began accepting applications – at that time 10 percent of total funding was available to states and territories to support planning and ramp-up activities. With today’s announcement, these four states – including Kansas – will receive an additional 40 percent of their total funding. The balance of the funding will be released when states meet reporting, oversight, and accountability milestones as required by the Recovery Act.
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, reducing heating bills by an average of 32 percent and overall energy bills by hundreds of dollars per year.
Contact: (202) 586-4940