$186 Million in Weatherization Funds from Economic Recovery Act

Thursday, March 12th, 2009 at 10:36 am

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that Minnesota will receive over $186 million in federal funding to help Minnesota families weatherize their homes as part of the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The funding will help thousands of Minnesota families save an estimated 32 percent on their energy bills.

“Rising energy costs are making it hard for Minnesotans to heat their homes in the winter,” said Klobuchar.  “These funds will help families save money, create jobs and businesses, and reduce energy consumption to make sure Minnesota families aren’t left out in the cold.  It is imperative that we give our families the help they need to keep pace with the sharp increase in heating costs.”

The 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 percent and overall energy bills by hundreds of dollars per year according to the Department of Energy.

Minnesota will receive over $131 million for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which 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.

Last year, Minnesota received $10 million for weatherization efforts, enough for up to 4,000 Minnesota homes. The new funding is expected to help weatherize the homes of over 35,000 families.

The Minnesota State Energy Program will receive over $54 million in funding for rebates to consumers for home energy audits or other energy saving improvements, such as; 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 funding, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was disbursed today by the Obama Administration and Department of Energy (DOE) to the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

The White House estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create 66,000 jobs in Minnesota.

In addition to the weatherization funds announced today, last week Senator Klobuchar announced that Minnesota will receive over $29 million for law enforcement funding and over $94 million for transit funding from the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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