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MacCo Energy : Summary: Weatherization in America article

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Summary: Weatherization in America article

- James Curry

Writer Julie Leatherman writes about the state of weatherization in America today (well, a year or two ago, actually). It's very interesting to know that there has been a weatherization funding program active in the US for 35 years now! Still, after all of this time, there are over 38 MILLION homes that are eligible for funding > 15 MILLION of which are very good candidates. For those of us into numbers, that's over 1250 homes/town in America (on average) that are candidates!!!

Although the $1500 tax credit that she speaks about is now only $500, there are still a multitude of benefits available from utility companies across the country, some that pay up to 75% of the available benefits (ex. MA gas utility companies, National Grid and NSTAR). Sound like a good idea, now??


About the Author
Julie Leatherman is the Chief Financial Officer at Service Partners, LLC, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia http://www.weatherizationsp.com. Service Partners is a national specialty building products distribution company.

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In 1976 the United States Department of Energy began a Weatherization Assistance Program. Over 5.8 million homes have benefited from this program to date and it is estimated that another 1 million homes are expected to receive assistance in the future. States are now administering over $5 billion in stimulus funds through this program!

There are about 38 million homes in the United States that are currently eligible for weatherization services. Of these 38 million homes it is estimated that about 15 million are great candidates for weatherization.

In addition to increasing the efficiency of existing homes and reducing fossil-fuel consumption, this weatherization initiative will certainly add jobs which will help stimulate the economy. The states will receive approximately 10 to 30 times the funding that they received last year. About one fifth of the state funding is designated for training and technical assistance for weatherization professionals. Energy auditors will be trained to scan homes to identify potential energy saving opportunities for the home owners. This is a great opportunity for weatherization contractors to identify opportunities and offer solutions directly to the homeowner.

The good news for the consumer is that from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 owners of existing homes can qualify for weatherization tax credits. Tax credits are available for 30% of the cost of eligible energy efficient products or systems up to a cap of $1500 per home. Only improvements to your primary residence qualify for the program. Energy efficient measures eligible for tax credits include adding insulation to walls, ceilings, or other parts of the home, replacing doors or windows, HVAC systems, and water heaters. There are specific energy efficiency requirements for these modifications that can be found at energystar.gov. In addition to the tax credits, the Weatherization Assistance Program estimates that home owners will save from $400 to $500 per year on energy costs after making weatherization improvements.

Source: "Weatherization and Tax Credits" EZineArticles. 12/09/2009. <http://ezinearticles.com/?Weatherization-and-Tax-Credits&id=3356620>