Energy-saving program taking off in Utah

Published: Tuesday, June 22 2010 5:56 p.m. MDT

More than 2,900 Utah homes have been weatherized since February 2009 with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Energy. That's more than 30 percent of the homes targeted by the Weatherization Assistance Program, which is designed to help low-income homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient, saving an average of more than $400 on their energy bills.

"What we see is that states like Utah are moving forward aggressively with the weatherization program, delivering energy and cost savings for the families who need it most," said Cathy Zoi, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "This Recovery Act funding is helping to create jobs in local communities while putting America on the path to a clean energy future." Officials said more than 80 Utahns were employed in the effort during the first three months of 2010.

As part of the program, the Intermountain Weatherization Training Center in Clearfield, operated by the Utah Division of Housing & Community Development, was selected to receive almost $325,000 in additional funding to develop and expand Utah's weatherization training programs.

Under the Recovery Act, Utah was allocated $37.8 million for the weatherization program. The state previously had access to the first 50 percent of the funding. By weatherizing more than 30 percent of their total estimated homes and meeting a series of aggressive accountability and reporting milestones, Utah now has access to the full $37.8 million to continue weatherizing homes across the state. The goal is to weatherize nearly 4,500 homes with that funding.

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