5 Billion Made Available for Home
WASHINGTON - States will soon be distributing more than $5 billion to help people winterize their homes under an economic stimulus set-side for homeowners and green contractors.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is distributing the money to states, which will then make funds available to low-income households, particularly those with elderly residents, people with disabilities, and families with children. An additional $3 billion has been given to state energy programs. The funds will also provide some badly-needed money for small business contractors who provide weatherization services.
"Not only will homeowners benefit, but the home weatherization set-aside is likely to be the one of the biggest boons for small businesses under the Recovery Act," says Information USA founder and popular author Matthew Lesko, who tracks federal and state money programs on his website leskobooks.com
"It is unlikely that there will be any other business opportunity that is guaranteed to grow over 2000% in the next decade. The application process can be tricky, so it's important to know how to apply and what to say, who to call and when to get in line. Aside from that, this is essentially free money for projects that will continue to provide savings for people every month."
The State Energy Program provides rebates to consumers for home energy audits or other energy-saving improvements; develops renewable energy and alternative fuel projects; promotes Energy Star products; upgrades the energy efficiency of state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help families save money on their energy bills.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) was created in 1976 to assist low-income families who lacked resources to invest in energy efficiency. WAP is operated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Native American tribes, and U.S. Territories. Funds are used to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes using the most advanced technologies and testing protocols available in the housing industry.
The following table shows why weatherization is likely to be one of the biggest opportunities in America.
Even though it goes to 2009, the government rarely ever stops a program:
|Weatherization Program Increases||2008||2009|
|Amount of Money Available||$227 Million||$5 Billion|
|Family Income Eligibility||$33,000||$44,000|
|Average Spent Per Household||$2,500||$6,500|
|Number of Homes Weatherized||150,000/yr||1,000,000/yr|
|Number of Home Inspectors Needed||1,000||3,000|
|Total Number of Jobs Needed||11,000||125,000|
"This is a win-win program," says Lesko. "Not only do low-income households get a hefty return on the investment through lower energy bills, but home-improvement contractors get badly-needed jobs and the nation reduces its dependence on foreign oil. At the same time, health and safety risks associated with poorly insulated homes can be cut dramatically."
Since it was launched 30 years ago, the program has helped weatherized more than 6.2 million homes. An estimated 100,000 homes will be weatherized with DOE funds this year alone, with an average savings of $350 in the first year alone in heating costs. IN all, every $1 spent on weatherization returns $2.73 in energy and non-energy related benefits, according to the DOE.
The program also creates 73 new jobs for every $1 million invested
For a state-by-state breakdown of where the money is going and expert advice on using the program, visit the Government Money Club for membership.
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"Guru Of Government Giveaways" Matthew Lesko
Matthew Lesko has 25 years of experience educating everyone from Fortune 500 companies to average taxpayers about government money programs. Two of his books have been on the New York Times Best Seller Lists. Two have received awards from the American Library Association. He has written over 100 books on the subject. He has written syndicated columns for The New York Times and Good Housekeeping Magazine and has been a regular on hundreds of TV talk shows including Larry King, The Today Show, Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Letterman and Oprah.
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