Onorato & Ravenstahl Launch $20 Million Weatherization Program

county-shield.jpgmayors-shield.jpgStimulus funds will help to reduce energy costs in 2,900 low-income residences

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced an additional $20 million to expand weatherization services and increase energy efficiency in 2,900 low-income residences during the next 30 months. The funding is made possible by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), from which Pennsylvania received $252.8 million to expand weatherization services statewide.

Local utility companies, non-profit organizations, weatherization and energy-efficiency service providers, foundations, and public agencies are working together to leverage these ARRA funds, as well as those earmarked for utility company energy efficiency and assistance programs, to make the greatest impact. They are also working to recruit minority contractors and workers to do the retrofits in low-income communities and to train workers for these green economy jobs.

“This coordinated effort will put people to work, improve energy efficiency, and reduce utility costs for those struggling most in the current economy,” said Onorato. “The weatherization services include weather stripping, replacing cracked or broken glass in windows, and insulating hot water tanks, exposed pipes and attic areas. I encourage eligible residents to take advantage of
this great program.”

In order to qualify for the program, homeowners and renters must be below 200 percent of the poverty rate, which is $21,660 for an individual and $44,100 for a family of four. Residents may apply for the program beginning Mon., Nov. 2.

“Energy efficiency doesn’t just reduce utility bills, it helps to preserve the environment and makes homes healthier and more comfortable,” said Ravenstahl. “The average energy efficiency that results from these free weatherization services saves families approximately $400 per year in utility costs, which can be utilized to cover other important needs during these difficult economic
times. Customers already receiving LIHEAP assistance are priorities for the program, so I encourage all income-qualified individuals to apply when the program opens on Monday.”

Two Weatherization Assistance Program providers, ACTION-Housing and Steel Valley OIC, will conduct audits on eligible residences and hire contractors to perform the needed weatherization work. ACTION-Housing has received $15.3 million for the ARRA-funded weatherization efforts, and Steel Valley OIC has received $4.9 million. Steel Valley OIC serves the greater McKeesport area, while ACTION-Housing serves the City of Pittsburgh and the rest of Allegheny County.

“National Weatherization Day means so much more this year than it ever has,” said Governor Edward G. Rendell. “Not only will we be helping more people in Southwest Pennsylvania save money every month on their electric bills, we will be putting people to work to make their homes more energy efficient. With the support of Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and our very important local weatherization agencies, this winter will be warmer and cheaper for many.”

Please see the attached document for additional information on the application process and eligibility. Households will be prioritized based upon LIHEAP status and energy consumption.

For information regarding the program:

City of Pittsburgh residents call 412-227-5700 ext. 2102
Allegheny County residents outside of the McKeesport area call 412-227-3700 ext. 2106
Greater McKeesport area residents call 412-678-8622