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Washington to get $23 million to weatherize homes

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee announced that the U.S. Department of Energy released over $23 million to Washington for weatherizing homes of low-income families, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“Efficiency is the cheapest fuel,” said Inslee. “The weatherization program helps families spend an average of 32 percent less on their home heating bills.”

Washington will use its Recovery Act funds to weatherize 5,000 homes across the state over the next three years. DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program will be available to families making up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level — or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. States spend an average of $6,500 to weatherize each home. For every dollar invested, the program returns $3.71 in benefits and specifically supports job growth and economic development.

The Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development (CTED) will administer the program and allocate funds to community-based non-profit agencies and local government organizations to provide weatherization services to every county and tribal nation in the state. CTED will also implement training and technical assistance programs for these local non-profit and government agencies. This training will provide local weatherization technicians with the knowledge and skills necessary for carrying out home energy audits and weatherization procedures.

After demonstrating successful implementation of its plan, the state will receive more than $29 million in additional funding, for a total of over $59 million.

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