Grants funds to reduce energy costs for Lowndes County families

Published 5:47 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A recent news release from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) reported that Gov. Kay Ivey has recently allocated grants exceeding $5.8 million to organizations aiding low-income residents in reducing their energy costs through home weatherization. The funds, part of Alabama’s Weatherization Assistance Program, target enhancing energy efficiency and safety in qualifying homes, with priority given to households with children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.

Among the recipients, Organized Community Action Program Inc. received $558,584 to support their efforts in Lowndes, Bullock, Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Pike counties.

“A change in the weather can lead to a spike in home heating or cooling costs, forcing many to make difficult decisions about how to use their limited funds,” Ivey said. “These grants will help low-income households make upgrades that will significantly reduce heating and cooling bills.”

Email newsletter signup

Each qualifying home undergoes an energy audit to identify the most cost-effective measures. Typical improvements include adding insulation in the attic, walls and floor; sealing air leaks around doors and windows; servicing air conditioning and heating units and replacing incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency ones. Besides lowering energy bills, these upgrades can mitigate fire and other hazards.

According to a publication from EnergyStar, a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program, it is estimated that air sealing a home and strategically adding insulation, can save homeowners an average of 15% on heating and cooling costs.

The grants were awarded to 13 community agencies statewide managing the program at the local level and accepting applications from individuals seeking assistance. Administering the grants falls under ADECA supported from funds provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Making a home more energy-efficient is a lasting solution to lower utility bills,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell. “ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in support of these local agencies that assist families with long-term improvements that make a big difference in monthly energy bills.”