State, city encourage residents to weatherize homes for winter
October 28, 2010
NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 28, 2010
Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed Saturday as Weatherization Day — just as the Issaquah Resource Conservation Office continues to encourage residents to make homes more energy efficient.
The city and many organizations use similar programs to raise awareness about energy efficiency in homes — including the benefits of increased energy savings, lower energy costs and job creation in the construction industry.
Issaquah residents can receive free home energy audits through the Resource Conservation Office. Sustainable Issaquah, a community group, also plans a discussion about home energy use. Many Issaquah families have already received free audits.
October is also National Energy Awareness Month. The federal Department of Energy uses the approach of winter to promote energy conservation and renewable energy use. Issaquah made the free home energy audits available through a Department of Energy grant.
Gregoire’s proclamation follows some noteworthy energy efficiency accomplishments in Washington:
- The state has weatherized more than 91 percent — or 6,590 by Sept. 30 — of the 7,170 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act units required in the Department of Energy plan through June 2011.
- The federal agency singled out Washington and 11 other states at a national conference for exceeding production and expenditure expectations. The state became the second in the nation to meet Department of Energy productivity and inspection requirements, clearing the way in April 2009 for the release of the second half of the allocated $59.5 million in recovery act funds.
- The state Department of Commerce is in line to receive $3 million to partner in a national weatherization pilot project through the federal Department of Energy to establish a loan fund for low-income weatherization.
- The recovery act resulted in $7 million for 11 high-performing weatherization agencies across the state to complement and expand existing weatherization programs.
The state Department of Commerce also contracts with 26 local agencies to provide weatherization services to low-income residents.
Residents save 20 percent to 30 percent on average on their monthly heating bills after receiving weatherization improvements, like heating system improvements, ceiling, wall and floor insulation, plus weather-stripping and other closures of heat-escaping gaps.
Since 1987, the program has helped 125,000 Washington families to conserve energy and reduce their costs for heat, cooling and electricity.
“Washington has a long-standing commitment to conserve energy resources and to help low-income households through its Weatherization Assistance Program,” Gregoire said in a statement.