Recognizing the positive impact of New Hampshire's Weatherization Assistance Program in reducing homeowners' energy costs, creating jobs and improving the health and safety of New Hampshire's families, Governor Maggie Hassan proclaimed today as Weatherization Day in the State of New Hampshire. The Governor issued the proclamation at the home of Ruby Craigue, a Concord woman whose home is receiving energy efficiency improvements through the state's Weatherization Program.
"I am proud to recognize the New Hampshire Weatherization Assistance Program's important work to support New Hampshire families, strengthen our economy, and protect our environment," Governor Hassan said. "Our Weatherization Program is an innovative public-private partnership that has received federal recognition for efficient and effective operation, and it brings people together to reduce energy bills, make homes healthier and safer, and create high-quality jobs. The program has helped train hundreds of building professionals in state-of-the-art weatherization and energy-auditing techniques. The improvements made to Ruby Craigue's home represent just one example of the program's positive benefits for families across the state, and I thank those who continue to make its success possible in these challenging economic times."
Administered by the Office of Energy and Planning (OEP) and delivered by local Community Action Agencies (CAAs), the Weatherization Program uses federal funding and other funding sources such as the electric and natural gas utilities' ratepayer-funded energy-efficiency programs to weatherize and improve the health and safety of hundreds of homes each year.
"Weatherization saves heating costs by sealing leaks in a building and by adding insulation that acts like a blanket for the home," stated Kirk Stone, Weatherization Program Manager at OEP. "Weatherization typically lowers home energy use by at least 15 to 30 percent, saving households money and improving the air quality and comfort in a home, while also protecting our environment and improving air quality for all of us."
"For every dollar invested in weatherizing a low-income home, more than $2.50 is returned to ratepayers, households and communities in reduced energy bills, increased local employment, reduced uncollectible utility bills, improved housing quality, and lower medical costs from improved health and safety," said Rob Bowers, Weatherization Director for the Belknap-Merrimack CAA.
The federal Weatherization Assistance Program was created in 1976 to reduce residential energy cost burdens on low-income Americans, provide a buffer against fuel-price volatility, and increase the comfort and safety of low-income housing. In the past 36 years, the program has improved over 7.4 million homes across the country, and New Hampshire's Weatherization Program has served more than 3,100 households across the state.
"As we enter the cold winter months, I encourage all Granite Staters to visit www.nhsaves.com and take simple steps to weatherize our own homes such as removing air conditioners, closing storm windows, and having heating systems tested and serviced," Governor Hassan added.