10/29/2015 9:38:11 AM
SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced that Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed Friday, October 30, as Weatherization Day in Minnesota to recognize nearly 40 years of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income Minnesotans make improvements to their homes to reduce energy use and cut utility bills.
“Since 1976, our Weatherization Assistance Program has made a positive difference for tens of thousands of financially-vulnerable Minnesotans, including seniors, who struggle to pay their bills,” said Rothman. “Many low-income Minnesotans are living in older homes with outdated heating systems that waste energy and needlessly drive up utility bills, especially in the winter months. Weatherization assistance not only helps save energy and money. It also creates a safer and healthier living environment.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the program is administered by the Commerce Department in cooperation with a network of 25 local service providers, community action agencies, nonprofit organizations and local governments.
The program enables income-qualified households to permanently reduce their energy costs by making their homes more energy efficient as well as healthier and safer for family members.
Households at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines ($48,500 for a family of four) are eligible. Priority is given to households with elderly or disabled family members, children or high energy consumption.
Services include energy audits to evaluate potential weatherization work; air infiltration and bypass sealing; exterior wall and attic insulation; and the testing, repair or replacement of mechanical systems.
About 2,200 Minnesota homes received weatherization assistance during the past program year. Households can often achieve a 30 percent reduction in annual energy costs when furnace upgrades are combined with insulation, air leak sealing and new energy-efficient appliances.
Minnesotans seeking weatherization assistance can use a combined application that also includes the state’s Energy Assistance Program, which provides help with heating bills during the winter.
More information about the Weatherization Assistance Program is available by calling the Commerce Department’s Energy Information Center at 651- 539-1886 or 800-657-3710 (Greater Minnesota) or visiting the Commerce website.