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Governor proclaims today “Weatherization Day”

By ThisIsReno
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Official Governor Jim Gibbons imageGOVERNOR’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE:

CARSON CITY — Governor Jim Gibbons has announced that today will be proclaimed “Weatherization Day” in Nevada. “The dedication of this day [October 30th] as Weatherization Day celebrates the wonderful accomplishments of this excellent federal, state, and local partnership,” said Governor Gibbons.

Gibbons further explained that, “This program has helped thousands of Nevada’s low-income families conserve energy and reduce their utility bills.” To show his continued support, Governor Gibbons will be given a personal tour of an on-going weatherization job next week in Reno. The project is funded through the Nevada Housing Division’s Weatherization Assistance Program with work performed through one of the Division’s subgrantees, Community Services Agency of Reno.

Chas Horsey, Administrator of the Nevada Housing Division offered these comments – “The Division’s Weatherization Assistance Program became a reality when the 2001 Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Bill 661, which created a special revenue fund for assisting Nevada’s low-income families in weatherizing their homes by improving energy efficiency and for meeting health and safety standards. The state’s Welfare Division administers the fund, and 25 percent of the money in the fund is distributed to the Housing Division’s Weatherization Assistance Program.” “Additionally,” reported Horsey, “The Weatherization Assistance Fund has received money from the Fund for Energy Assistance and Conservation in Nevada (FEAC) and the U.S. Department of Energy. These combined funds have provided more than $4 million annually to assist households whose gross income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, established by the federal Office of Management and Budget.”

October is also designated as Energy Awareness Month. Each year, the Department of Energy (DOE) uses the onset of winter to promote energy conservation, renewable energy, and new technology use in the energy industry. With the higher cost of fuel oil, and the ever-fluctuating electric prices, celebrating a successful conservation program like the Weatherization Assistance Program is essential.

Currently, the Nevada Housing Division provides state and federal funds to five Subgrantees (service providers) who are located throughout the state and utilize licensed contractors to perform the work described below:

Types of weatherization work include:

  • Insulation: ceiling, floor and duct.
  • Duct leakage sealing (return, plenum and supply systems).
  • Shell infiltration sealing; i.e., replace broken glass, window and exterior door replacement, door weather stripping, caulking, evaporative cooler covers, etc.
  • Insulation of water heater and water heater pipes.
  • Low-flow showerheads.
  • Mobile home roof insulation.
  • Minor home repairs.
  • Heating and cooling system repairs and/or replacements.
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  • Refrigerator replacement.

To become a service provider, an entity must be classified as a community action agency, or other public or nonprofit entity. These entities are required to respond to Request for Proposals (RFPs) issued by the Housing Division.

The first round of RFPs has concluded with the following service providers selected:

  • Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Tel. (775) 283-0099 (serving Douglas, Lyon, Storey Counties and Carson City);
  • HELP of Southern Nevada, Tel. (702) 369-4357 (serving Clark County, excluding the City of Henderson);
  • Rural Nevada Development Corporation, Tel. (775) 289-8519 or Toll Free (866) 404-5204 (serving White Pine, Elko, Humboldt, Eureka, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Pershing, Lander, Mineral, Churchill, and Nye Counties);
  • Neighborhood Services, Tel. (702) 267-2014 (serving City of Henderson); and
  • Community Services Agency, Tel. (775) 786-6023 (serving Washoe County).

Individuals who are in need of weatherization services or contractors interested in working within the weatherization field should contact one of these five agencies. Reducing energy consumption is a national concern and a major priority in the new federally-funded economic stimulus plan, the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Through the ARRA, the Nevada Housing Division’s Weatherization Assistance Program will receive approximately an additional $11,500,000 per year for the next three years. This funding represents an increase of nearly three times the normal year’s amount for weatherizing homes. The ARRA’s stimulus funds will allow local organizations to perform more energy audits, swap out inefficient furnaces or air conditioners, and add insulation or other improvements in four times as many homes as usual. “This means we will be able to serve significantly more lower-income households plus help create jobs in Nevada,” said Horsey.

Information on the Weatherization Assistance Program and the ARRA is available on the Housing Division’s web site at: www.nvhousing.state.nv.us.

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