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Nevada to receive additional $7 million to expand weatherization program



officialgovernorjimgibbons_sm-214x300-7722061-8303775CARSON CITY — Governor Jim Gibbons announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy has selected Nevada to receive nearly $7 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA stimulus funds) to continue the Nevada Housing Division’s successful Weatherization Assistance Program.

Nevada has been one of the country’s weatherization leaders under ARRA and is continuing to weatherize thousands of homes for Nevada’s low-income families. Through July, Nevada had weatherized a total of 5,351 homes.

“Despite unwarranted, harsh criticism from legislative leadership, the Nevada Housing Division has done an outstanding job and is a national leader and role model in the federal Weatherization Assistance Program. Clearly the efforts of Housing Division employees are helping thousands of Nevada families each day through reduced energy consumption and cost as a result of these projects,” Gibbons said. “More families will soon benefit through the receipt of this new grant.”

The Nevada Housing Division’s staff applied for the Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers Grant which is an amendment to the state’s ARRA Weatherization Assistance Program funding. Charles L. Horsey Administrator of the Nevada Housing Division reports, “This amendment will allow us to help many more Nevadans as it will enable us to administer funds to assist higher-income families. In the past, funds were targeted to serve those very-low income individuals and families; this grant will allow us to reach out to serve a broader base for those who fall within the low- to-moderate income range. This grant will expand our program to serve more of our residents throughout the state.”

According to Dr. Hilary Lopez, NHD’s Chief of Federal Programs, the state Housing Division applied for the grant on behalf of local weatherization agencies; the Division will administer the funds and make the determination of funds each agency receives.

The $7 million awarded to the Division will be targeted to install in-home energy monitors, photovoltaic systems, solar water heaters, heat pumps, residential wind turbines, and perform deep-efficiency retrofits. The award selections were part of nearly $120 million in awards announced nationally to complement and expand existing weatherization programs, drive innovation in the program, and deliver even greater energy bill savings for local families.

Nevada’s efforts contribute to the success of the program nationwide. After ramping up last year, nationally the Weatherization Assistance Program weatherized homes at its optimal rate – approximately 25,000 homes per month. In June, states reported that nearly 31,800 homes were weatherized with Recovery Act funding – the most ever in a month. Nevada weatherized 2,183 homes during the second quarter of 2010.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income families save energy and money by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. According to a recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, weatherization services save families an average of more than $400 in energy costs during the first year after home retrofits are installed.

For more information on the state Housing Division’s Weatherization Program go to www.nvhousing.state.nv.us and click on programs, and then “Weatherization”.

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