Weatherization experts evaluate the heating system of a home in Loveland, CO. (Photo: Dennis Schroeder, NREL)
The Department of Energy completed weatherizing more than 600,000 low income homes three months ahead of schedule.
With $5 billion in Recovery money to add to its ongoing Weatherization Assistance Program, DOE focused on quickly reducing energy waste in low income homes by installing upgrades such as insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems. The goal was to weatherize 607,000 homes by March 2012.
DOE announced it had reached that goal in December 2011.
“On average, the program reduces energy consumption for low-income families by up to 35 percent, saving them more than $400 on their heating and cooling bills in the first year alone,” DOE said. “Nationwide, the weatherization of 600,000 homes is estimated to save more than $320 million in energy costs in just the first year.”
Worker dons protective mask and covering as he prepares to weatherize a home in Lafayette, CO. (Photo: Dennis Schroeder, NREL)
Estimates from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory study in March 2010 projected that energy savings will likely exceed the program’s costs.
The extra Recovery funding significantly expanded and accelerated DOE weatherization activity. For example:
- 30,500 Wisconsin homes weatherized; Recovery funds covered costs for 21,600
- 16,000 Washington homes weatherized; Recovery funds covered costs for 12,300
- 6,800 Montana homes weatherized; Recovery funds covered costs for 3,300
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