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2009-08-20 digital edition

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2009-08-20 / General Stories

Stimulus Award to Increase Jobs

Understanding the enormously positive and cost-effective impact weatherization can have on a home, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has announced two major awards to regional and local nonprofit organizations designed to generate a wide array of jobs that will help jump start the state's construction industry, while increasing home energy efficiency for low income households, reducing their cost burden, and creating a healthier environment.

TDHCA awarded $1.6 million in federal stimulus funding to Combined Community Action to weatherize the homes of low income residents living in Lee, Austin, Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend and Hays counties. Additionally, Fort Bend Community Revitalization Projects received $500,000 to operate a weatherization program of its own at the local level.

The awards were made through the Department's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and were provided on a one-time basis to the state through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.

WAP is designed to help low income customers control their energy costs through the installation of weatherization materials and consumer education. Income eligible households spend 12.2 percent of their income on home energy costs, compared an average of 3.7 percent. Households assisted through WAP typically save over $400 on utility costs each year, savings can be enjoyed for as long as 15 to 20 years.

Primary efforts focus on caulking; weather-stripping; the installation of ceiling, wall, and floor insulation; patching holes in the building envelope; duct work; and the possible repair or replacement of energy inefficient heating and cooling systems.

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