November 17, 2010
Mayor Michael A. Nutter joined Governor Ed Rendell today to celebrate the success of the first year of the low-income weatherization program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). ARRA-funded weatherization began in Pennsylvania in fall 2009. Since that time, 15,027 homes have been weatherized across the state, including 1,850 in Philadelphia. The weatherization program helps low-income individuals save energy and money by installing home improvements like energy efficient boilers and insulation.
“In just its first year, the weatherization program has helped nearly two thousand Philadelphians live more comfortable, more affordable, and more sustainable lives,” said Mayor Nutter. “And at the same time, it has provided real work opportunities for Philadelphia residents and small businesses. That’s exactly the kind of outcome we were looking for when the Recovery Act passed.”
“Weatherization has had a dramatic effect on Pennsylvania. Weatherized homes save the average homeowners $600 per year in energy costs, and who wouldn’t want to have that savings in this economy. Statewide, we have created 1,800 new jobs with 1,026 of those individuals trained by Recovery Act funding. The Commonwealth has invested $22.3 million in local vendors to provide supplies and labor to weatherize 30,000 homes by March 2012,” said Governor Rendell. “Conservation makes sense for Pennsylvania.”
Pennsylvania received more than $225 million dollars for weatherization under ARRA, of which Philadelphia was allocated $30 million. This program is scheduled to last three years and to weatherize about 30,000 homes statewide. Philadelphia’s allocation is split between two agencies, the Energy Coordinating Agency, which received $14 million and has completed 918 homes to date, and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, which received $16 million and has completed 932 homes to date.
The program has had a significant economic impact. More than 1,000 people have worked on weatherization across the state, including more than 200 in Philadelphia. Also, in Philadelphia, more than 30 businesses have received contracts to conduct work on the weatherization program through the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, more than 40% of which are minority- or women-owned firms.
Common services provided under the weatherization program include:
- Blower door guided air sealing to effectively locate and reduce air-leakage throughout the home;
- Installation of attic, wall, basement and crawlspace insulation and ventilation to reduce energy loss;
- Heating system modification or replacement to increase the efficiency and/or safety of the heating system;
- Minor repairs, and/or health and safety measures are provided (when necessary) to allow the safe and effective installation of the weatherization measures;
- Client education on the proper use and maintenance of the installed Weatherization measures and ways to reduce energy waste every day.
The average expenditure per household is $6,500. Eligible applicants include low-income individuals (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level), with priority given to higher risk residents such as the elderly, disabled individuals, families with children and high energy users.
To learn about eligibility for the weatherization program, Philadelphians should contact the Energy Coordinating Agency at 215-988-0929 or the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation at 215-448-2160.