Bentley awards grants to help low-income residents cut energy costs

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MONTGOMERY – Some low-income and elderly Alabama residents who need help reducing their utility bills will get assistance from $950,000 in grants awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley.

The grants support Alabama’s 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.

“Energy bills can be difficult for Alabamians with limited income and resources,” Bentley said. “By making improvements to the energy efficiency of homes, this program helps lower utility bills for our residents who are most in need. I am pleased to award these grants to agencies that will help our citizens.”            

An energy audit is conducted of each home that qualifies for weatherization assistance to determine the most cost-efficient measures. Common improvements include installing extra insulation in the attic, walls and floor; sealing air leaks around doors and windows; repairs or tune-ups for air conditioning and heating units; and replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency compact fluorescents. In addition to lowering energy bills, the improvements can reduce the risk of fire and other hazards.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the program from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Bentley awarded the grants to 16 community agencies across the state that manage the program at the local level and receive applications from individuals who wish to be considered for assistance.

The Community Action Partnership of North Alabama received $61,025.

“The grant is the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Grant that is scheduled to run through September 2016,” said CAPNA Energy Director and Rehab Program Coordinator Angela Warren. “We serve Morgan, Cullman, Lawrence, Winston, Walker and Marion Counties. Last year, we were allocated to complete a total of eight projects with the same grant.”

Warren said the money will be used to implement energy conservation measures in an effort to lower homeowners’ utility bills, in addition to making homes more comfortable for homeowners.

Residents who wish to apply for the program should contact Doug Woods at 256-260-3141 or doug.woods@capna.org to request an application to be mailed or emailed.

Completed applications and required documents should be submitted to the CAPNA Central Office, either by mail or drop off. The address is Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Attention: Weatherization Department, 1909 Central Parkway SW Decatur, AL 35601.

An application will be processed to determine eligibility. See PDF documents for details.

“There is a current waiting list of over 300 applicants; however, the higher the priority points, the higher the priority of the applicant,” said Warren. “In essence, a person can come apply for the program today and receive 45 Priority Points. That application would be placed in front of all applications having 40 Priority Points or less.” To become familiar with how the points are achieved, please review that section of the PDF documents below.

“The income guideline for this program is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline which is listed, in detail, on the Energy Program Guidelines attachment (see PDF documents below). We are currently weatherizing 13 Department of Energy (DOE) projects over our six-county service area. These projects were required to meet the 200 percent Federal Poverty Guidelines and must be completed by June 30, 2016.”

 

Low Income Weatherization Assistance Documents by cullmansense