Grants to help low-income residents to make homes more energy efficient

Published 8:55 pm Friday, February 6, 2009

Many low-income Alabamians will get help reducing their home energy costs thanks to $3.02 million in grants awarded by Gov. Bob Riley. Funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program is more than three times the total available in 2008.

The Elmore-Autauga Community Action Committee will receive a $111,882 grant to help qualified residents in Autauga, Elmore, Chilton and Shelby counties make home improvements that increase energy efficiency. The agency will receive applications and administer the program locally.

“High home energy bills can break budgets already stretched thin by a job loss or other circumstances,” Riley said. “I hope this weatherization assistance will help make energy costs more manageable for the most vulnerable Alabamians, especially the elderly and disabled.”

Eligible applicants will have their houses tested to determine what weatherization measures are needed to maximize energy efficiency. Improvements typically include adding insulation, reducing air leaks by improving windows, doors and vents, and servicing heating and cooling systems. Health and safety diagnostic services also are provided.

The Community Action Committee will accept applications and determine those low-income residents who are eligible for assistance based on guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the overall grant from additional federal funds made available to Alabama in October. ADECA administered grants totaling $788,950 for weatherization assistance in 2008.

Riley notified Marion Dunlap, the committee’s director, that the grant had been approved.