Weatherization Measures Help Families Save an Average 20 Percent on Utility Bills
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $59 million in funding through the Weatherization Assistance Program to help cut utility costs for approximately 9,200 income-eligible families and seniors across the state. Funds will be released to a statewide network of non-profit organizations to conduct energy-efficiency work including, but not limited to air sealing, insulation, upgrading heating systems, and diagnostic testing to identify hazards such as carbon monoxide and mold. Weatherization can save an average of 20 percent on utility bills.
"This program has helped thousands of families cut utility costs, save money and build stronger, more energy efficient homes," Governor Cuomo said. "I urge any New Yorker who qualifies for this funding to see how we can help make your house more energy efficient, less expensive to maintain, and more resilient for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw our way."
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York's Weatherization Assistance Program has invested more than $738 million since 2011 to make 118,600 homes safer, more resilient, and more affordable.
Administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, with funds from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services, WAP is available in every county through a statewide network of local providers. Priority is given to households with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, and those receiving Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds. The program assists all types of housing including single-family homes, multi-family buildings, and manufactured homes. Since the start of the program in 1977, more than 705,000 dwellings in New York State have been assisted.
A total of $1.3 million of the $59 million will go toward providing the network of subgrantees with training and technical assistance. Training in weatherization techniques, such as energy auditing and repairing heating systems, ensures that program funds are used effectively and work is done safely. Each year the Weatherization Program supports hundreds of good-paying, green jobs and our state-of-the-art training facilities help ensure that workers keep up with rapidly evolving technologies.
A list of the 2017 Weatherization Assistance Program Award recipients by region is available here.
An evaluation of HCR's Weatherization Program that was completed earlier this year found significant benefits. Energy use in completed homes is reduced by nearly 20 percent, on average, and health and safety hazards such as poor indoor air quality, lead-based paint and mold that can trigger asthma are reduced or eliminated. These actions provide substantial measurable benefits to occupants.
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, "By adding insulation, upgrading heating systems, and fixing leaky windows and roofs, we can help assure vulnerable New Yorkers spend less of their household income on utilities. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the WAP has helped make energy costs less burdensome and living environments healthier for more than 118,000 households - from single-family homes to multi-family buildings throughout the state."
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "I'm proud to announce this funding to help families in our community heat their homes as we prepare for another Rochester winter. President Trump's budget request eliminates the Weatherization Assistance Program that has made this funding possible while also slashing funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and abolishing the State Energy Program. These are dangerous cuts that would devastate Western New Yorkers. No one should have to choose between heating their home and putting food on the table. That's why I will keep fighting to fund proven programs like this while working to ensure the president's budget request never becomes a reality."
Congressman Jose Serrano said, "This federal funding will help families struggling to make ends meet lower their monthly electricity bill, modernize buildings, and invest in clean air across the state. As a member of Congress and the Appropriations Committee, I have always made it a priority fighting for funding for the protection and improvement of our environment and air quality-- particularly in urban areas like the Bronx. The Weatherization Assistance Program is just one of the many programs that help New York hard working families while investing in our environment that I am proud to have supported over the years. I applaud Governor Cuomo for also making this issue a priority."
Congressman Eliot Engel said, "The Weatherization Assistance Program doesn't just cut costs for New York families—it reduces energy consumption statewide, thus limiting our carbon footprint. As we head into the winter months this program becomes even more vital, so I am pleased Governor Cuomo has made this commitment to help improve energy affordability for New York families."
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said, "Weatherizing buildings and homes is one of the best ways to help people save money and protect the environment. I'm proud to support this federal funding to help low-income families and seniors make their homes more energy efficient and applaud Governor Cuomo's work to make sure this help gets to those who need it."
Congressman Joe Crowley said "The benefits of weatherizing our homes are twofold - not only does it make our homes safer and more resilient, but it will ease the financial burden of utilities for hardworking New Yorkers. These are smart investments with both short and long-term impacts. I commend Governor Cuomo for his role in making these federal dollars available through the Weatherization Assistance Program to ensure homeowners are protected."
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "I have long fought for federal funding for New York State to help make homes more energy efficient. On Weatherization Day, I commend Governor Cuomo's announcement to help income-eligible seniors and families keep their homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This federal program empowers local small businesses to renovate homes, reduces the cost of utility bills, and prioritizes energy efficiency as our fuel of choice. In Congress, I will continue to fight for weatherization funds so that New York can continue implementing these important results."
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, "People shouldn't have to choose between keeping the heat on or getting groceries, and I want to thank the Governor for making this smart investment to help folks in the Hudson Valley stay warm during the winter. Weatherization reduces the cost of heating, cuts down our carbon footprint and it's an incredibly cost-effective way to help out folks in need."
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, "This important funding will go a long way to help our region's most vulnerable. This is an important priority so that low-income families and seniors across the North Country can save their hard earned money while increasing safety and energy efficiency."
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, "These funds help cut utility costs for families in New York, which is especially important on Long Island where the cost of living is so high. I am pleased to join with Governor Cuomo to announce these federal funds, which will help reduce utility costs and upgrade energy efficient infrastructure in Suffolk County."
Congressman Adriano Espaillat said, "Older homes are more susceptible to hazards, such as carbon monoxide and mold, and are more likely to burden vulnerable New Yorkers with high utility bills. Weatherizing homes helps to protect against extreme weather events as well as alleviate high energy bills, which is crucial for residents most in need. Today's announcement is progress toward an equitable and inclusive future as well as our commitment to a long-term housing strategy that ensures New York residences are eco-friendly and affordable."
More information on the WAP is available here.