October 5 -- Economic Opportunity Studies is presenting information on its website on how states have ramped up their weatherization programs as a result of the $5 billion allocated to the Weatherization Assistance Program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The seven states that have reported thus far have been impacting their local economies by hiring and training new workers, hiring contractors, purchasing equipment, renting buildings and serving greater numbers of households.
Some highlights from various states:
Idaho: As of mid-August it had hired 99 new people, more than doubling weatherization personnel; trained 40 auditors and inspectors; rented or purchased buildings in five cities; and purchased 40 American-made vehicles.
Ohio: As of June it had hired 175 new people and purchased 126 new vehicles, 142 blower doors, 70 insulation-blowing machines, and 70 infrared scanners. Some agencies report they have doubled or tripled the number of homes weatherized.
Wisconsin: The state’s weatherization providers expect that with their ARRA funds plus their federal and state weatherization funding, they will nearly double their FY 2009 production. As of early September the state had employed another 182 people, trained 185 workers and had another 138 in training. Additionally, 25 contractors had been hired and 101 American-made vehicles purchased.
Arizona: As of late September, more than 142 jobs have been created and filled, or are soon to be filled; more than 74 new contractors are under contract; more than 25 new vehicles and 16 blower doors have been purchased; and at least 347 people have been trained, including new hires and previous staff members. Agencies also reported that utility partners are looking for more ways to partner and develop energy efficiency solutions for low-income homes including the use of renewables, particularly in multi-family housing projects in distressed areas.
The website also includes the latest guidance from the Department of Energy on ARRA.
Source: Economic Opportunity Studies