10/17/10 — WAGES offers home weatherization funds assistance

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WAGES offers home weatherization funds assistance

By Staff Reports
Published in News on October 17, 2010 1:50 AM

WAGES has money available to help with home weatherization, but very few applicants, said Director Dr. Marlee Ray.

She explained that the agency received extra money as part of the federal stimulus funding, but have not been able to give it all out yet.

The goal, she said, is to help weatherize up to 40 homes per month through 2012. Each home averages $2,000 to $3,000 to weatherize.

The progam is income-based.

Once in the Weatherization Assistance Program, trained technicians come to the home to conduct an energy audit and suggest methods to make the home more energy efficient. Typical services include:

* Performing tune-ups and repairs to heating and cooling systems

* Improving health and safety conditions by addressing carbon monoxide levels and combustion safety

* Sealing major air leaks

* Installing insulation in attics, walls and floors

* Sealing and insulating ducts

* Installing a smart thermostat

* Replacing existing lighting with energy efficient light bulbs.

To apply, people must have a working heat source and readily available fuel, but are not required to own their own home, whether it's a single-family home, a multi-family dwelling or a mobile home. Those renting, though, must have written permission from their landlords, who are required to make a small contribution toward the work.

Income eligibility guidelines range from $21,660 for a one-person household, to $44,100 for a four-person household, to $74,020 for an eight-person household.

Priority also will be given to seniors, the disabled and families with small children.

"There is a computer program we plug all this family data into and it determines the priority rating," Ms. Ray said.

However, she explained, completing the proces can take betwen three to six months, so people are encouraged to apply now before it gets any closer to winter.

WAGES is offering the assistance to families in Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties. For more information about how to apply, call 734-1178, ext. 226 or ext. 229.