Grant will aid low-income, elderly residents

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Alabama’s low-income residents may soon receive help in cutting their utility bills by making their homes more energy efficient.

Grants totaling nearly $2 million have been awarded as part of the Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides funds to improve the energy efficiency and safety of qualifying homes. Priority is given to those with disabilities, the elderly and low-income households with children.

“With limited, fixed incomes, many elderly and disabled residents don’t have the ability to pay higher air conditioning bills in the hot summer months,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “By making energy-efficiency improvements to their homes, this program makes energy bills easier to manage for our most vulnerable residents.”

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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 extra insulation for the attic, walls and floor, sealing leaks in ductwork, repairs and tune-ups for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, and replacement of incandescent lights with highly efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

The Organized Community Action Program, which serves Butler, Barbour, Bullock, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lowndes and Pike Counties, received $179,452 in funding as part of the program.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Energy. This round of funding comes in addition to $950,000 the state awarded earlier this year for the weatherization assistance through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

For more information or assistance contact OCAP at (334) 382-2351.