State of Tennessee press Release; Fri, Oct 30, 2009
- Recovery Act
- Human Services
Recovery Act Helps Boost Participation In Program
NASHVILLE— Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed October 30th Weatherization Day in Tennessee to promote the economic and environmental benefits of this home energy efficiency program.
“The Recovery Act has increased funding and expanded eligibility for this program that previously benefited only a few thousand Tennesseans each year,” said Governor Bredesen. “I’m extremely pleased more families now qualify and encourage all those that do to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and utility costs.”
Through the Recovery Act, the U.S. Department of Energy is making $99 million available to Tennessee for its weatherization program. Eligibility was expanded by the General Assembly last spring from 125 percent to 200 percent of poverty, ensuring that even more Tennesseans would qualify for the home energy improvement program. Priority is still given to families with small children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Weatherization can help reduce energy consumption and a home’s utility bills by up to 32 percent through measures that include insulation, weather stripping, installing new energy efficient windows and/or even replacing entire heating and cooling systems. Citizens can apply for the program at their local Weatherization agency, or download an application from the DHS website.
“Citizens in every corner of the state are benefitting from this program,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “Once approved, a certified energy auditor will assess the energy improvement needs of the home. Within a few weeks, that job is contracted out and the weatherization work is performed. Thanks to our partnership with 18 local non-profit and government agencies, DHS has been able to aggressively put Recovery dollars to work in Tennessee.”
DHS worked with the Tennessee Valley Authority to increase the pool of certified contractors and auditors over the summer. More than 340 contractors and 240 auditors were trained and certified.
To date, more homes have been pre-audited in the first four months of the year than were weatherized during the entire last full fiscal year. DHS expects to weatherize more than 10,000 by September, 2010.