At an event with homeowners and workers who benefited from the program, today in Manchester, New Hampshire, Vice President Joe Biden announced a major Recovery Act milestone - the weatherizing of 200,000 homes under the Recovery Act. As a result of the Administration's unprecedented commitment to energy efficiency, more than 200,000 low-income families have been able to save money on their energy bills while saving energy, and thousands of people have been put to work.
"Thanks to the Recovery Act, thousands of construction workers across the country are now on the job making energy-saving home improvements that will save working families hundreds of dollars a year on their utility bills," said Vice President Biden. "From replacing windows and doors to adding insulation, these are small changes that are making a big difference for American workers, manufacturer and consumers. We've hit the accelerator on the weatherization program, making over 200,000 homes more energy-efficient already, and are now full speed ahead to meet our original target of weatherizing 600,000 homes nationwide."
"The weatherization program under the Recovery Act - one of our signature programs - is successfully delivering energy and cost savings for hundreds of thousands of American families while creating thousands of clean energy jobs in local communities," said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Vice President Biden today visited the Manchester, New Hampshire home of the Dumont family to announce the milestone. The Dumont family is expected to save over $600 a year on their utility bills once their weatherization project is completed and Southern New Hampshire Services, the local organization weatherizing their home, has already hired 7 new full-time employees and an estimated 68 subcontractors as a result of the Recovery Act weatherization funding.
New Hampshire has been one of the nation's weatherization leaders, ramping up quickly and effectively to reach their goals ahead of schedule. Through June, New Hampshire has weatherized a total of more than 1,000 homes under the Recovery Act. New Hampshire was also recently selected to receive an additional $3.1 million to complement and expand their existing weatherization program, drive innovation, and deliver even greater energy bill savings for local families.
New Hampshire's efforts are contributing to the success of the program nationwide. After ramping up last year, the Weatherization Assistance Program is now weatherizing homes at its optimal rate - approximately 25,000 homes per month. With 200,000 homes weatherized nationally, states are more than a third of the way to reaching the President's goal of weatherizing nearly 600,000 homes under the Recovery Act. This summer alone, more than 80,000 homes are being weatherized nationwide versus 3,000 last summer. Including homes weatherized with annual program funding, more than 300,000 homes have now been weatherized since the Recovery Act began.
The weatherization program is also creating thousands of jobs locally - putting carpenters, electricians, and factory workers back to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances, and improving heating and cooling systems. According to state reports, the Recovery Act Weatherization Assistance Program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2010, including approximately 120 jobs in New Hampshire. These workers are receiving training in energy upgrades that will help form the foundation for a sustainable energy efficiency industry in America that can extend to the more than 100 million middle-class homes that stand to benefit from weatherization.
The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program helps lower-income families save energy and money by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. According to a recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weatherization services save families an average of more than $400 in energy costs during the first year after home retrofits are installed. Overall, the Administration is investing about $90 billion through the Recovery Act in clean energy and energy-efficiency projects that cut costs, reduce energy use and create new jobs.