Biden: States on Track for Weatherizing Homes

August 26, 2010 - 10:16 AM
Vice President Joe Biden says states are on track to weatherize 600,000 homes by March 2012 after a huge increase in activity in the last six months.
Concord, N.H. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says states are on track to weatherize 600,000 homes by March 2012 after a huge increase in activity in the last six months.
 
By March 2010 -- a year after the economic stimulus pumped new money into the decades-old federal Weatherization Assistance Program -- just 30,250 homes had been retrofitted. But according to a White House official, Biden will announce Thursday that the total has jumped to 200,000 and that at the current pace, the administration will meet its goal of 600,000 homes in three years.
 
Biden is marking the milestone in Manchester at a home where energy-saving improvements are being made by Southern New Hampshire Services. The improvements are expected to save the homeowners more than $600 annually on their utility bills.
 
Under the weatherization program, states distribute federal money to local nonprofits that hire contractors for projects ranging from installing weather-tight windows and doors to spreading insulation in homes.
 
The $5 billion weatherization program is part of about $90 billion in stimulus funds targeted for clean energy and energy-efficiency projects. According to the White House, it has put more than 13,000 people to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances and improving heating and cooling system -- or about 15 percent of the 87,000 jobs the Obama administration predicts.
 
The White House says about 25,000 homes per month are being weatherized. New Hampshire has weatherized more than 1,000 homes through June.
 
In March, an Associated Press review of the program found that the weatherization program had retrofitted a fraction of the homes and created far fewer construction jobs than expected in its first year. In Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, it failed to produce a single job or help one home.