State weatherization grants include $625,000 for Community Action of Orleans and Genesee

Staff Reports Posted 25 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Community Action of Orleans and Genesee will receive $625,000 for its weatherization program as part of $57 million in Weatherization Assistance Program funds across New York State. The money will help cut utility costs for approximately 8,600 low-income families and seniors across the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The $57 million 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 to ensure air quality.

“The Weatherization Assistance Program has helped thousands of low-income households across the state make their homes safer and their utility bills more affordable,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will build on this success by helping more New Yorkers save money on energy costs while creating cleaner and more sustainable communities in every corner of the state.”

The Weatherization Assistance Program is administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal with funds from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services. Services are available in every county of the state 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 688,000 dwellings have been assisted.

A recent national evaluation of the WAP found that the program is extremely effective in cold climates like New York’s. Work in multi-family buildings is especially cost-effective with WAP investments saving in excess of 20 percent compared to pre-weatherization energy use.

“Low-income households spend more than 10 percent of household income, on average, for heating and other energy expenditures,” said James S. Rubin, commissioner of NYS Homes and Community Renewal. “Adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and tuning heating systems are measures that pay for themselves in energy savings. A relatively modest investment in weatherization funds can mean a world of difference to a family struggling with energy costs or a senior on a fixed income.”