Department of Energy program reaches target three months early

December 28, 2011

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has been successful in providing more than 600,000 low-income homes across the U.S. with technology and funding to lower costs for families and make their residences more energy efficient, according to Planet Save.

The news source reported that the program reached its target three months early, as the residences were supposed to be weatherized by March 2012. According to a release from the Government Accountability Office, the effort made significant progress in 2011.

"The Department reached this major milestone as part of its efforts to save energy and reduce home utility bills for families, while creating jobs in communities throughout the country," the DOE said in a statement.

The DOE worked with local government agencies and energy companies as part of a partnership to use federal funding to help homes reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, according to Planet Save.

"Through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, states and territories supported by the Department’s Weatherization Assistance Program set the aggressive goal to reduce energy waste in approximately 600,000 low-income homes with energy efficient upgrades such as insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems," the DOE said in a statement. "The program is helping families save money on their energy bills and creating thousands of jobs locally – putting carpenters, electricians, and others back to work."

The news source reported that the program's aim is to create community jobs, reduce carbon emissions and eliminate some of the 40 percent of energy consumption in the country that buildings account for.

According to Clean Technica, the Department of Energy has several ongoing initiatives to address this high level of energy consumption for structures in the U.S., including the Better Buildings Challenge and the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.

The DOE also set up an innovation HUB for the design and development of energy efficient buildings and technology. This effort, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC), is headquartered at the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard and relies on the brightest minds from the private sector, energy companies, academia and government.

The GPIC, like the Weatherization Program, is looking to stimulate investment in the industry and to foster job creation in the Greater Philadelphia region to help cement the HUB as the epicenter for progress in the sector.