Millions of dollars in federal government stimulus funds will be provided to Iowa to increase the state’s weatherization programs. Iowa will be using its federal government Recovery Act funds to weatherize almost 8,000 homes over the next few years.
Dozens of agencies and charities are coming together to manage the weatherization program and oversee the work, including the Mid-Iowa Community Action, Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, and also the Polk County Board of Supervisors. The community action agencies will be submitting detailed monthly reports on their progress to ensure transparency and accountability of the program. In order to increase public awareness of the weatherization program and communicate how these improvements can help people lower their utility bills, and the savings that families can experience with reduced energy use, the Clean Energy Education Savings Guide that was developed by the Iowa Weatherization Program will be distributed to clients’ homes to help advertise the program.
More aid may be coming as well. For example, after demonstrating successful implementation of its state plan, Iowa will receive an additional $40 million in government funds, for a total of more than $80 million to be allocated for weatherization.
If you need more information, or for those who are in need of weatherization upgrades, they have a couple of different options to get assistance. First of all, for those who have participated in the Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program, they are automatically enrolled and eligible for weatherization projects. If you are not in LIHEAP, but if you feel you have some projects that need to be done to help with weatherization upgrades, you can contact your local community action agency.
The number of households that can be helped will be expanded this year as well. This will occur because the income eligibility guidelines have been raised. Previously it was only those making as much as 150 percent of the federal government poverty level were eligible for help. Now, it's 200 percent, so thousands of more families will be eligible for upgrades. Now, for a family of four, that means families making up to $44,000 per year would be eligible for weatherization programs.