A blower door test is one of the many diagnostic features employed by our program to ensure the highest energy savings possible for those we serve.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Governor Declares October 30 Weatherization Day in Michigan

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has declared October 30 as Weatherization Day in Michigan, a time for government and local community agencies to help low-income residents find ways to stay warm this winter.

"This day draws attention to the impact of rising energy costs and the savings that can be realized by small investments in weatherization programs,” Granholm said.

The Michigan Department of Human Services administers federal funds that reduce the energy burden on low-income families by installing cost-effective measures that increase a home’s energy efficiency. The program also provides energy education to households, educating individuals about lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce the fuel usage in a home. The energy conservation realized through this program reduces reliance on fossil fuels.

A network of 32 local agencies around Michigan – primarily community action agencies – deliver services to more than 5,000 low-income households each year. Services typically cost about $2,826 per household and are available in every county.

“Rising energy costs continue to have a significant impact on low-income families, some of whom may spend up to 40 percent of their income on utility bills,” DHS Director Ismael Ahmed said. “The average cost savings of $300 annually after a home is weatherized can be better spent on groceries, medical care and other critical needs that help a family continue on the path to self-sufficiency.”

Since the inception of Michigan’s Weatherization Assistance Program in 1976 more than 250,000 homes have been made more energy efficient. Local technicians use computerized energy audits and advanced diagnostics to determine the most cost-effective measures for each home and assess related health and safety conditions.

These households save an average of $275 to $324 on their annual heating bills after the weatherization work is completed. Weatherization services include installing insulation, sealing and balancing ducts, cleaning and repairing heating system, minimizing heat loss through windows and doors, carbon monoxide monitoring, and education on basic energy conservation activities.

Weatherization also creates jobs and reduces pollution. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by an average of one ton for each weatherized home, reducing pollution levels in Michigan by an average of 4,995 tons annually for the past three years. A total of 52 jobs are created within the nation’s communities for each $1 million invested in weatherization resulting in 2,340 jobs in Michigan in the past three years.

For more information regarding the weatherization program, go to www.michigan.gov/dhs-weatherization

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