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Bredesen tabs October 30th as Weatherization Day in Tennessee

 

Tennessee Department of Human ServicesNashville, TN – This year, Tennessee was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its “dedication and extraordinary efforts” toward the goals of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Only 11 other states were similarly singled out. The recognition came primarily through the work of the state Department of Human Services’ Weatherization Assistance Program – a national leader and one that has weatherized close to 11,000 homes since July 2009. For that, Governor Phil Bredesen has proclaimed Saturday, October 30th as Weatherization Day in Tennessee to promote the economic and environmental benefits of this home energy efficiency program.

“In every corner of the state, citizens as well as contractors have benefitted from this program,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge. “Thanks to Recovery dollars, the tireless work of DHS staff, and our partnerships with 18 local nonprofit and government agencies, we exceeded expectations. I’m honored that the Governor has proclaimed a Weatherization Day, validating those efforts.”

Cost effective weatherization measures, including adding insulation and weather stripping, are performed to make a home more energy efficient, thereby lowering a home’s energy burden and reducing the consumer’s utility bills. Eligibility for the program is based on established federal poverty guidelines, and income cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty limit (that’s $44,100/year for a family of four). Interested applicants may download a short application from the DHS website and submit it to their local Weatherization agency.

In the past, Tennessee could weatherize only a few thousand homes a year with its average annual budget of $3-4 million for the federally funded program. The Recovery Act sent $99 million to Tennessee for this home energy efficiency program in September 2009. More than $40 million had been spent and Tennessee currently ranks 6th in the nation for number of homes weatherized under ARRA. The program will continue until the funds are exhausted.

Tennessee developed a unique competitive bid process for WAP jobs to allow as many agency-approved, licensed contractors to participate and work in the program. The jobs are posted on-line at the TN DHS website, and bids are submitted to the local agency. The low bidder is awarded the job and payment is not made until the weatherized home passes a post-inspection energy audit.

For more information on the program, visit www.tn.gov/wap .


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