For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
(ST. PAUL, MN) The number of Minnesota homes weatherized under the federal Weatherization Assistance Program increased nearly 18 percent in February, according to new figures from the Minnesota Department of Commerce's Office of Energy Security (OES).
As of January 31, OES had weatherized 3,785 homes in the state. As of February, a total of 4,456 homes had been completed. Of that amount, 2,693 were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
Created in 1976 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Weatherization Assistance Program enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
In fiscal year 2010, the state received almost $16 million in regular federal funding for the program. The state received another $132 million in weatherization assistance funds from ARRA which are to be spent by March 2012.
In addition to the 3,000 to 4,000 homes weatherized annually in Minnesota with regular funding, OES has said it will complete an additional 17,000 homes by March 2012 using the $132 million in additional funds.
There are 32 local Service Providers that deliver the Weatherization Assistance Program in Minnesota. These Service Providers include 24 Community Action Agencies (CAPs), one non-profit, one county agency, and six tribal governments.