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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Oklahoma Recognizes Weatherization Day

Oct. 30, 2007 -- In recognition of the importance of energy conservation, Governor Brad Henry signed a proclamation recognizing today, Oct. 30, as Weatherization Day, an annual event highlighting the awareness of home energy conservation measures. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce Community Development Division is charged with administering the Oklahoma Weatherization Assistance Program. This program, primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, enables low-income families to reduce their average energy bills by more than $350 by improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

"The State of Oklahoma is committed to energy conservation and community assistance, and one of the ways that we make a difference in people's lives is through the Weatherization Assistance Program," says Vaughn Clark, Director of the Community Development Division at Commerce. "The program allows homeowners to reduce their energy costs, and stimulates economic growth in our state by putting more money back in the pockets of homeowners."

Since its creation, the Oklahoma Weatherization Assistance Program has reduced energy costs by an average of 22 percent to more than 1,400 homes each year, helping thousands of Oklahomans. Many of those assisted are the elderly, those with special needs, families with children and households with high energy burdens.

Through the Weatherization Assistance Program, energy efficiency services are performed free of charge for qualifying, low-income households. These services include weatherstripping doors, installing proper insulation, replacing windows, and other measures that help save energy and money. Commerce receives and distributes the weatherization funds, plans, implements, and manages the program and contracts with local Community Action Agencies (CAAs).

CAAs, in turn, qualify individuals, manage the program at the local level and provide weatherization services. Commerce also monitors for state and federal compliance and inspects the projects on-site. In order to assist more families and to provide additional energy conservation improvements, the Energy Conservation Assistance Fund was established by Commerce to expand the Weatherization Program. By contributing to the Energy Conservation Assistance Fund individuals and companies may receive a 50 percent tax credit against their Oklahoma tax liability. Once again this year the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board has made a generous contribution to the Energy Conservation Assistance Fund totaling $500,000.

"Thanks to generous donations, we have been able expand our services to additional families through the Weatherization Assistance Program," says Kathy McLaughlin, Director of Programs at Commerce. "With these donations we are able to help more Oklahomans gain access to energy efficient homes that will reduce their energy costs."

To recognize Weatherization Day in Oklahoma, a Weatherization Demonstration was held in Sperry by Commerce. A team of Weatherization technicians demonstrated the equipment and procedures used to identify energy and safety problems in low-income houses.

For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, or the Energy Conservation Assistance Fund, please contact Kathy McLaughlin at (405) 815-5339 or by e-mail at Kathy_Mclaughlin@OKcommerce.gov.

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