The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) weatherization scheme, which struggled to get off the ground, has now achieved its target of improving 600,000 low-income homes three months ahead of schedule.
Set up under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Weatherization Assistance Programme promised to reduce energy wastage through energy efficiency upgrades to homes, like insulation, air-sealing and more efficient heating and cooling systems.
Originally, the programme set out to help 600,000 homes by March 2012 but the target has been met much sooner in what Energy Secretary Steven Chu called a “major milestone”.
The improvements made to homes under the programme should on average reduce low-income families’ energy use by up to 35%, reducing bills by over $400 in the first year alone.
In total, the improvements in energy efficiency across the programme should save more than $320 million in energy costs annually.
The weatherization programme is part of the DOE’s broader effort to reduce the energy used by buildings, which accounts for nearly 40% of US consumption and carbon emissions.
For further information:
US government puts up $8 million to help consumers manage energy use (15-Nov)
US weatherization scheme picks up the pace to reach halfway mark (25-Jan)
19 December 2011