Local agencies receive $8.5 million to weatherize homes for elderly, low-income residents
Special to the Enquirer
MONTGOMERY—Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $8.5 million to assist low-income and elderly Alabama residents with weatherizing their homes to lower energy costs.
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 people with disabilities, the elderly and low-income households with children.
Of the monies awarded, $597,424 will go to the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama Inc. that serves Cullman, Lawrence, Marion, Morgan, Walker and Winston counties.
“In the midst of the hot Alabama summer months, elderly, disabled and low-income residents on fixed incomes often struggle to pay their utility bills to keep cool and comfortable,” Gov. Ivey said. “These grants will assist in making home improvements that will lower the energy bills for those who qualify for assistance.”
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; making repairs or tune-ups for air conditioning and heating units; and replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs. In addition to lowering energy bills, the improvements can reduce the risk of fire and other hazards.
Gov. Ivey awarded the grants to 13 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. These grants are in addition to $4.4 million in Weatherization grants awarded earlier this year.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Energy.
“ADECA joins Gov. Ivey in supporting those who need it most through the Weatherization Assistance Program,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “The partnerships with these community agencies ensure that many underserved residents receive help in preparing their homes to stay cooler for the hottest part of the year both now and in the future.”