Governor awards $1 million statewide for home weatherization assistance

Published 3:29 pm Friday, May 12, 2017

Special to the Signal

Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a little more than $1 million to help low-income residents across the state, including Lowndes County, to cut utility bills by making energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.

The funding supports the Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program, which gives priority consideration to elderly, disabled and low-income residents with children. Houses that qualify for assistance receive upgrades that improve energy efficiency and safety.

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“Making energy-efficient improvements to homes can lead to significantly lower utility bills,” Ivey said. “For a family on a small, fixed income, those savings can have a big impact, freeing up funding for food or medical necessities.”

To identify the most cost-effective measures for each home, an energy audit is performed. Depending on the results, a home weatherization project may include adding extra insulation to the attic, walls and floors; sealing leaks in ductwork; repairing and tuning heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; and replacing incandescent lights with highly efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

The funding was provided to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is distributing the money to 16 regional agencies that provide local management for the weatherization program. Applications for weatherization services should be made to those agencies.

“Each year, ADECA partners with agencies across the state to implement the Weatherization Assistance Program to help some of our neediest residents,” outgoing ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. “I am glad to see these partnerships continue to improve lives in Alabama.”

ADECA administers a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, water resource management, energy conservation and recreation development.

The Organized Community Action Program Inc., which serves Lowndes, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike Counties will receive $113,480. The contact number for qualified residents to apply for assistance is  334-566-1712.