Grant aims to make homes energy efficient

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded $1.66 million to help Alabama’s low-income residents, including those in Butler County to cut their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient.

According to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program gives priority consideration to the elderly, those with disabilities and to low-income residents with children.

Houses that qualify for assistance are modified to improve both energy efficiency and safety.

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“Taking a few steps to make a home more energy efficient can significantly reduce the monthly utility bill,” Bentley said. “The savings can make a big difference for a struggling family on a small fixed income, leaving more money for other essential expenses like food and medicine.”

To identify the most cost-effective measures for each home, an energy audit is performed. Depending on the results, a home weatherization project may include adding extra insulation to the attic, walls and floors; sealing leaks in ductwork; repairing and tuning heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; and replacing incandescent lights with highly efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

The funding was provided to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy.  In Alabama, ADECA is distributing the money to 16 regional agencies that provide local management for the weatherization program.

Applications for weatherization services should be made to those agencies.

Butler County is served by   the Organized Community Action Program Inc., which received $146,174 for Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes and Pike counties.

OCAP can be reached at (334) 382-2351.