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For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Wyoming Reaches Major Recovery Act Weatherization Milestone
State more than triples number of homes weatherized under Recovery Act
Washington, DC – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that Wyoming has reached a significant milestone under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – completing weatherization work for more than 30 percent of the homes the state planned to weatherize. Wyoming is continuing to accelerate the pace of weatherization in the state. From April to June 2010, the state weatherized more than triple the number of homes it weatherized from January to March. As of July 31, 2010, Wyoming has weatherized approximately 300 homes with Recovery Act funding, plus approximately 370 additional homes with annual program funding. As a result of the progress in the program to date, the state will now have access to an additional $5.1 million in Recovery Act funding to continue providing energy efficiency services to Wyoming’s low-income families.
Wyoming’s efforts are contributing to the success of the program nationwide. Last week, Vice President Biden announced that states across the country have weatherized more than 200,000 low-income homes. 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.
“Thanks to the Recovery Act, thousands of construction workers across the country are now on the job making energy-saving home improvements that will save working families hundreds of dollars a year on their utility bills,” said Vice President Biden. “From replacing windows and doors to adding insulation, these are small changes that are making a big difference for American workers, manufacturer and consumers. We’ve hit the accelerator on the weatherization program, making over 200,000 homes more energy-efficient already, and are now full-speed ahead to meet our original target of weatherizing 600,000 homes nationwide. ”
“What we see here today is that states like Wyoming are moving forward aggressively with the weatherization program, delivering energy and cost savings for the families who need it most,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This Recovery Act funding is helping to create jobs in local communities while putting America on the path to a clean energy future.”
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 about a dozen jobs in Wyoming.
Under the Recovery Act, Wyoming was allocated $10.2 million to weatherize more than 900 homes. The state previously had access to the first 50 percent of the funding. By weatherizing more than 30 percent of their total estimated homes and meeting a series of aggressive accountability and reporting milestones, Wyoming now has access to the full $10.2 million to continue weatherizing homes across the state. Together with the approximately 370 additional homes Wyoming has weatherized with annual program funding, the state has already weatherized about 670 homes since the Recovery Act began.
Under the weatherization program, local agencies provide whole-home weatherization services, including conducting an energy audit in the home to identify the most cost-effective improvements, and implementing solutions that range from installing additional insulation and weatherstripping, sealing windows and doors, caulking cracks in the building, and replacing inefficient heating and cooling systems.
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