Washington, D.C. – November 10, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28), along with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, announced today that Texas has reached a significant milestone under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – completing weatherization work for more than 30 percent of the homes the state had planned to weatherize.
As of September 30, 2010, Texas has weatherized more than 15,900 homes with Recovery Act funding, plus more than 4,100 additional homes with annual program funding. As a result of the progress in the program to date, the state will now have access to an additional $163.5 million in Recovery Act weatherization funding to continue providing energy efficiency services to Texas’ low-income families.
“Weatherizing homes puts Texans to work and helps reduce energy costs for families who need it most,” said Congressman Cuellar. “The weatherization program is creating hundreds of jobs – putting carpenters, electricians, and factory workers back to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems.
According to state reports, the Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program supported more than 14,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2010, including nearly 950 jobs in Texas.
“What we see here today is that states like Texas are moving forward aggressively with the weatherization program, delivering energy and cost savings for the families,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “This Recovery Act funding is helping to create jobs in local communities while putting America on the path to a clean energy future.”
Under the Recovery Act, Texas was allocated nearly $327 million to weatherize nearly 34,000 homes. The state previously had access to the first 50 percent of the funding. By weatherizing more than 30 percent of their total estimated homes and meeting a series of aggressive accountability and reporting milestones, Texas now has access to the full $327 million to continue weatherizing homes across the state. Together with the more than 4,100 additional homes Texas has weatherized with annual program funding, the state has already weatherized more than 20,000 homes since the Recovery Act began.
In August, Vice President Biden announced that states across the country have already weatherized more than 200,000 low-income homes. After ramping up last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at its optimal rate – approximately 25,000 homes per month. This summer alone, more than 80,000 homes were weatherized across the country.
Under the weatherization program, local agencies provide whole-home energy efficiency upgrades, including conducting an energy audit in the home to identify the most cost-effective improvements, and implementing solutions that range from installing additional insulation and weatherstripping, sealing windows and doors, caulking cracks in the building, and replacing inefficient heating and cooling systems.
Lesley Lopez (202) 225-1640