To jump-start job creation and weatherization work, the Department of Energy is releasing the first installment of the funding - about $780 million -- in the next few days. The Department will release additional funding over time as states demonstrate that they are using the funding effectively and responsibly to create jobs and cut energy use. The funding will support weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment, which will pay for itself many times over.
The Weatherization Assistance Program will allow an average investment of up to $6,500 per home in energy efficiency upgrades and will be available for families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level - or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. [$55,140 for Alaska and $50,720 for Hawaii]
The State Energy Program funding will be available for rebates to consumers for home energy audits or other energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects for clean electricity generation and alternative fuels; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.
The DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program allows low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient, reducing heating bills by an average of 32% and overall energy bills by hundreds of dollars per year. (DOE)