The Department of Energy (DOE) has been granted $40 million.
This grant will help families in need by making their homes more energy-efficient and lowering utility costs.
Who can benefit from the grant?
The funding will be provided to 21 organizations and five state agencies. The DOE said that $36.5 million will be awarded to the 21 organizations through Enhancement and Innovation Program (E&I).
The remaining $5.1 million will be given to five state weatherization agencies through the Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers (SERC) Program.
The E&I program will prepare homes in disadvantaged communities for weatherization and electrification.
Recipients of the SERC program will be provided newer technologies. Some of these include solar photovoltaic panels, geothermal heat pumps, cool roofs, or exterior wall panels, and energy retrofits. Energy retrofits are energy conservation measures that are used in buildings to improve overall performance.
E&I is looking to drive workforce development by using new initiatives and activities. They will be focusing on outreach, recruitment, job readiness programs, mentoring, counseling, coaching, and stipends and wages for trainees. The E&I program will also partner with trade schools, technical colleges, local governments, and other community-based organizations.
The US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, has said that the initiative will help thousands save money on their utility bills and help ” develop the next generation of a clean energy workforce.”
Are there other federal energy assistance programs?
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is federally funded. LIHEAP provides families with energy credits and payment help. The program provides funding to programs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and energy-related minor home repairs.
However, the program is state directed– so not every state offers assistance with cooling during the summertime.