The Scott administration will spend $7.9 million of federal pandemic funding to expand the Weatherization Assistance Program to help eligible households reduce their energy usage, lower their utility bills, and improve the comfort and safety of their homes.
The Weatherization Assistance Program typically weatherizes between 800 to 1,000 homes each year. This funding will allow more than 550 additional homes to be weatherized.
About $1.6 million of the additional funding will be used to provide “one-stop” comprehensive weatherization and efficiency improvements in multi-family housing. A household is eligible for no cost weatherization services if their gross household income is below 80% of the median income in their area. A family of four with an annual income of about $67,000 would be eligible in most Vermont communities.
Priority for funding is given to households receiving Seasonal Fuel Assistance; high-energy use homes; families with young children; older Vermonters; and people with disabilities. Free weatherization services include energy audits (e.g., blower door testing and infrared scans); energy renovations (e.g., insulation, air sealing, heating system upgrades); efficiency coaching; health and safety improvements (e.g., improving ventilation, addressing carbon monoxide and unsafe heating issues); and referrals to other programs and services.
On average, the program makes about $8,500 worth of improvements per home, adds about 1,500 square feet of insulation and reduces drafts by about 40%.
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