This past Saturday, 10/30/2010 was National Weatherization Day. Today, Secretary Steve Chu posted about the importance of weatherization as a cheap way to decrease energy use in the US on the Department’s of Energy’s Energy Blog.
Today, the Department of Energy announced $120 million in funding to support innovative weatherization projects. Funding was announced for some 120 projects – ranging from pilot programs ($30 million) to existing program expansions ($90 million) – under DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program. The funding finds its roots in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In today’s announcement, Secretary of Energy Steve Chu also revealed that the Weatherization Assistance Program has weatherized more than 31,600 homes across the country.
The weatherization program under the Recovery Act is successfully creating jobs in local communities, saving money for families, and reducing carbon pollution across the country,” said Secretary Chu. “The funding announced today builds on the Department’s existing investments in energy efficiency to continue to expand and drive innovations in the weatherization program that will provide even greater energy and cost savings to low-income families. ~Secretary Chu, 8/19/2010
The program has also reached an “optimal” running rate – weatherizing approximately 25,000 homes per month. This summer alone, more than 80,000 homes will be weatherized across the country. (See the state breakdown of the homes weatherized through June)
Ohio has reached a significant milestone in its plans to weatherize more than 32,000 homes as a means of achieving greater energy efficiency in the state. According to the State, as of April 30 they had successfully weatherized more than 36% of their target homes, making them one of only seven states to reach this 30% mark. These projects were made possible by $266.7 million in federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
These targeted homes belong to Ohio’s low-income communities, where projects like replacing windows and adding insulation often do not make it into the household budget despite snow-filled winters and high heating bills.