$950K grant to go toward weatherization programPublished 10:41am Thursday, August 8, 2013
Gov. Robert Bentley recently awarded $950,000 in grant money to organizations looking to help low-income residents and the elderly cut the cost of their utility bills.
The $950,000 in grants was split among 16 state community agencies as a part of Alabama’s Weatherization Assistance Program.
Among those 16 community agencies awarded grant money was the Community Action Committee Inc. of Chambers-Tallapoosa-Coosa counties, which received $24,697.
David Boleware, executive director of the Community Action Committee Inc. of Chambers-Tallapoosa-Coosa counties, said weatherization is to make homes more energy efficient, which in turn lowers the cost of utility bills.
“The primary thing is to decrease the utility bills of low-income residents and particularly the elderly by coming in and weatherizing homes,” Boleware said. “It helps prevent the infiltration of heat in the summer time and decreases the loss of warm air in the winter time.”
While state grant money is a primary source of weatherization funds for the organization, Boleware said this year saw a reduction in money needed to weatherize homes in the three counties.
“Unfortunately, we have gotten such a reduction in the amount of money that we’re receiving, it has limited the number of homes we can weatherize,” Boleware said. “With the money we have received we are not going to be able to do but three or four homes in the three-county area, which is almost an 80 percent reduction in the number of homes we have been doing.”
Boleware added there’s still a long waiting list of people that need homes weatherized in each of the three counties.
“The impact this year is not going to be nearly as much as it was in the past because of the reduction in the amount of funds we received,” Boleware said. “Normally, we are able to do anywhere from six homes in Coosa, eight in Chambers and eight to nine in Tallapoosa.”
Boleware expects to only be able to weatherize one home in each county but is hoping the end to sequestration will see a return to normal funding.
“We are hoping that as soon as the government ends the sequestration of funds that hopefully we can get back to having an increase or at least level funding,” Boleware said. “That way we can increase the number of homes we can weatherize.”