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Local agency receives $1.9 million in grants to weatherize homes

MONTGOMERY—Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $1.9 million to assist low-income and elderly Alabama residents with weatherizing their homes to lower energy costs.

The grants support Alabama’s Weatherization Assistance Program which provides funds to improve the energy efficiency and safety of qualifying homes.

Priority is given to people with disabilities, the elderly and low-income households with children.

“Elderly and disabled Alabama residents who are living on limited incomes can struggle to pay higher utility bills in the warmer months,” Ivey said. “These grants will go toward lowering the energy bills for many of them by making upgrades to keep their houses cool during the summer months.”

The Community Action Committee Inc., of Chambers-Tallapoosa-Coosa received $40,345. The organization is a private, nonprofit corporation created to mobilize human and financial resources in combating poverty in the immediate areas.

According to its website, the action committee puts local people to work for the community. The organization started in 1966 with a $32 million grant and is responsible for an estimated $5 million impact to the local economy, according to its website.

It also has a weatherization program that is designed to reduce energy loss by making providing minor home repairs and energy-saving improvements.

To be eligible for the grant, an energy audit is conducted of each home that qualifies for weatherization assistance to determine the most cost-efficient measures.

Common improvements include installing extra insulation in the attic, walls and floor; sealing air leaks around doors and windows; repairs or tune-ups for air conditioning and heating units; and replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs.

In addition to lowering energy bills, the improvements can reduce the risk of fire and other hazards.

Ivey awarded the grants to 14 community agencies across the state that manage the program at the local level and receive applications from individuals who wish to be considered for assistance.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“ADECA supports Gov. Ivey in her commitment to helping those who need it most throughout the state utilizing the Weatherization Assistance Program,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “Our partnerships with these community agencies ensure that many elderly, disabled and underserved residents receive help in preparing their homes for the hottest part of the year now and for years in the future.”