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Weatherization Program Gets Stimulus Funding

By Staff | Nov 11, 2009

The funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program has substantially increased and Community Resources, Inc. (CRI) is urging those that qualify to apply now. This program is offered at no cost and delivers energy efficiency services, making an important contribution by helping keep seniors in their home and providing essential warmth to children, while reducing the burden on families with a fixed income.

One such Weatherization applicant knows all too well the detrimental effects of rising heating bills. This story is just one example of how the weatherization program can improve the quality of life for the residents in our community:

“I’m a single mom with four kids. We heat with an old furnace in our basement that works part of the time. Our house is drafty and cold in the winter, it has never been insulated and I’d like to be able to live in our entire house through the winter months.

“We have to close the doorways to the upstairs bedrooms and part of the house downstairs just to keep warm. On some days when the furnace is not working, you can see your breath in the living area where the kids play. It would be great to be comfortable in our own home where the kids could keep warm.”

For families like this one, cranking up the heat is not always an option, and sometimes with gaping balances and hefty reconnection fees families are faced with having no heat this winter. Professionally trained weatherization crews at CRI identify inside drafts and inspect heating and cooling systems.

Crews can then install insulation, seal off air leaks, and make modifications to or replace heating systems. Once installed, these energy saving measures will help to reduce heating and cooling costs for years to come and these savings can be used for other essential necessities. This program is offered at no cost to households that qualify and is also available to landlords who have qualifying families in the home at a percentage of the cost. CRI weatherizes homes in 11 West Virginia counties.

Thanks to the recent economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, even more families qualify for weatherization because the income eligibility guidelines have been raised. Now the yearly income eligibility for weatherization for a four-person household has increased from $33,075 to $44,100. The increase in funding from the new bill has also allowed for the creation of new jobs in West Virginia. CRI has already employed additional workers and is continuing to take applications.

CRI needs all eligible families to sign up for this no cost program. CRI is encouraging those in the community to take advantage of this free stimulus program. If you would like to apply for or receive more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, call the Community Resources, Inc. Wetzel County office at 304-455-2701 for details or visit their Web site at www.cricap.org.