Wyoming Department of Family Services

2300 Capitol Ave.

Third Floor Hathaway Building

Cheyenne, WY 82002

March 2, 2010

*******FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**********

Contact for Media: Juliette Rule, 307-777-3798

Wyoming Weatherization Program Making Progress

CHEYENNE -- Wyoming’s Weatherization Assistance Program crews have weatherized more than 300 homes in Wyoming since July.

The program installs energy conservation measures in income-eligible households, with priority given to elderly, disabled and homes with young children, according to the Wyoming Department of Family Services, the agency administering the state- and federally-funded program.

Since July 2009, 334 Wyoming homes have been weatherized. During the 2008-09 program year, a total of 868 Wyoming homes were weatherized.

Some of this season’s homes were weatherized using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. In February, 24 homes were weatherized with ARRA funds. In January, 17 homes were weatherized with ARRA dollars, and in December, one home benefitted from ARRA.

Weatherizing homes often means adding more insulation, sealing leaks around doors and windows, and it always includes basic health and safety checks. An energy audit determines which weatherization measures will get the biggest bang for the weatherization dollars spent on each home. Weatherization can save residents between 5 and 25 percent on their home heating bills.

“Family Services has contracts with three Wyoming organizations, which have in turn hired and then trained crews to perform the weatherization work,” says LIEAP Manager Brenda Ilg. “Contractors serve all 23 Wyoming counties.”

Nationally, low-income households pay a disproportionate share of energy costs nationwide. Low-income households typically spend 17 percent of their total annual income on energy, compared with just 4 percent for middle and wealthy classes. This means that low-income and fixed-income households must often cut back on other necessities, such as groceries or medicine, to pay their home heating bills, according to DFS.

“The Weatherization program has helped families, either by creating jobs or by actually reducing their energy costs,” Ilg said. “These jobs are year-round, not seasonal, so communities really are benefitting.”

To learn more about weatherization, visit dfs.wy.gov. Get an application for weatherization services by printing one from DFS’ Web site, visiting your local DFS field office or senior center or by calling 800-246-4221.