Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter has joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle in requesting that the Department of Energy continue to support the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which provides funding to help low-income families, seniors, homeowners with disabilities, and families with children make permanent energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
"Home weatherization can save a New Hampshire family hundreds of dollars each year," Shea-Porter said. "This program helps create jobs and saves energy. It's good for our economy and our environment."
Over the past 33 years, WAP has provided weatherization services to more than 6.4 million low-income households, saving them an average of $250 to $450 per year in heating, cooling, and electricity costs. According to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, every dollar invested in WAP returns $2.51 in benefits to individual households and society. In FY 2012, the Weatherization Assistance Program suffered a 60 percent cut in funding from the previous year. These funds are vital to help seniors and low-income families permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient.
"We recognize the challenges on the department's budget this fiscal year, including dealing with the sequester, and believe priority should be placed on programs that support jobs, assist with the nation's economic recovery, and meet important goals such as improving energy efficiency," the letter reads. "In this spirit, we urge you to ensure a sufficient investment in initiatives like WAP that reduce costs for households and return significant benefits to society."
In mid-April, Shea-Porter signed a letter to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee urging them to continue support for the Weatherization Assistance Program.