Secretary Chu Announces Major New Recovery Act Milestone: 300,000 Homes Weatherized

January 19, 2011

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that states and territories across the country have now weatherized more than 300,000 low-income homes under the Recovery Act, a major milestone in the Department’s efforts to reduce home energy bills for families. This means that states are now more than 50 percent of the way toward meeting President Obama’s goal of weatherizing approximately 600,000 homes under the Recovery Act. The weatherization program is helping families save money on their energy bills by improving home energy efficiency with upgrades like insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems. The program has also trained a new generation of clean energy workers and is employing more than 15,000 workers nationwide.

“Today marks a major milestone for the weatherization program and shows once again that we are on pace to meet the goals of the Recovery Act. This program has already benefitted 300,000 low-income families and put thousands of people to work,” said Secretary Chu. “Through the weatherization program, we are laying the groundwork for a broader efficiency industry in the U.S. that will help grow our economy while saving money for American families.”

Through November, the network of state offices, local agencies, and weatherization providers has completed 300,000 homes. Of the total, more than 100,000 have been completed in just the last four months, showing the dramatically accelerated pace of weatherization under the program. A state-by-state breakdown of the homes weatherized through November is available at the Energy Efficiency section of Energy.gov.

Weatherization assistance reduces energy consumption for low-income families on average 35 percent, saving families on average more than $400 on their heating and cool bills in the first year alone. Nationwide, the weatherization of 300,000 homes is estimated to save $161 million in energy costs in just the first year.

DOE has worked closely with state and local governments to ensure the program is well-managed, responsive, and flexible. Nearly all of the states and territories involved in the program have met the milestone of weatherizing more than 30 percent of their targeted number of homes and many have completed more than half of their goals to date.

For more information, visit the Weatherization Assistance Program Web site.