Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced Washington state received the green light from federal officials to distribute nearly $30 million in stimulus money for weatherizing low-income homes through the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.
A total of $29.8 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding is now on the way to help weatherize an estimated 3,470 homes and create hundreds of jobs statewide. The funding will also be used for worker training, technical assistance and program support. Under the state's newly approved plan, CTED will authorize 26 weatherization partners statewide to begin projects as soon as this week.
Residents save an average of 20 percent to 30 percent on their monthly heating bills after receiving weatherization improvements. The energy saved from all estimated 150,000 low-income family eligible homes in Washington would be enough to supply power to all homes in a city the size of Redmond or Walla Walla.
Based on the U.S. Department of Energy's review of the number of homes weatherized, funding spent and jobs created, Washington state could receive more funds, which would bring in a total of $59.5 million over a three-year period.
"This funding is a much-needed boost for our state's growing green economy," Gregoire said. "I am eager to work with officials at the U.S. Department of Energy to gain the additional funds."
"Our weatherization program is a national model of success," CTED Director Rogers Weed said. "I look forward to receiving the other half of our potential funds so we can help more households save on energy use and heating costs."
The Housing Division of CTED contracts with local agencies to provide weatherization services to low-income Washington state residents. Since 1987, approximately 125,000 single-family, manufactured, multi-family or mobile homes have been weatherized statewide. The weatherization program reduces the energy and heating bills of low-income families not just for one season, but for the long term. Low-income families pay more than 25 percent of income for home energy costs alone. One way to make low-income housing more affordable is to weatherize homes.
CTED is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and economic vitality in Washington, and is administering more than $200 million in Recovery funding. For more information, visit www.cted.wa.gov.
For the list of weatherization grants and local contacts, visit: http://www.governor.wa.gov/news/20090713_agencies.pdf.