This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 19, 2004

DOE Awards $5 Million to Weatherize Homes in Iowa

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced on February 19th the award of nearly $5 million to the state of Iowa to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families. Such families spend an average of 14 percent of their income on energy, compared with 3.5 percent for the average U.S. family. Weatherization reduces an average home's energy costs by $218 a year. See the DOE press release.

Photo of a man using a blower door.

A technician uses a blower door to test a home for air inleakage.
Credit: David Saum, Infiltec

DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program performs energy audits to identify the most cost-effective measures for each home, which typically include adding insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing the heating and cooling systems, and providing health and safety diagnostic services. For every dollar spent, weatherization returns $1.40 in energy savings over the life of the measures. The program is delivered through the states and 970 local agencies, and gives priority to low-income households with elderly members, people with disabilities, and children. The funding for DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program in fiscal year 2004 is $227 million, which is expected to cover the weatherization of about 94,750 homes. See the Weatherization Assistance Program Web site.

President Bush's proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2005 continues the President's commitment to increase funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program by $1.4 billion over the next 10 years in order to cut the energy bills of 1.2 million low-income families. The proposed budget includes $291 million for the program—an increase of 28 percent over 2004 funding—which will allow the weatherization of 119,000 homes of low-income families. See the White House summary of the DOE budget.