February 19, 2010
Progress in Implementing the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was enacted to stimulate the U.S. economy, create jobs and make infrastructure investments in energy and other areas. The Department of Energy's (Department) Weatherization Assistance Program received about $5 billion under the Recovery Act to improve the energy efficiency of nearly 590,000 residences of low income citizens -- a dramatic increase over the $450 million appropriated for this Program in Fiscal Year 2009. The Department awarded $4.73 billion of the Recovery Act funding in the form of grants to all 50 states, 5 territories, the District of Columbia and 2 Native American Tribes (the remaining $270 million was retained by the Department to administer the grants). It was anticipated that the expenditure of these funds would result in the almost immediate creation of jobs because they were to rely on the existing Weatherization Program infrastructure, recognizing that many homes of low income citizens were in need of energy usage improvements. As of December 2009, grantees had been authorized to spend up to 50 percent of awarded funds, with additional monies to be provided based on performance. Corresponding to funding increases, weatherization production goals increased significantly, rising from 104,000 in 2009 to 586,015 units over the 3 year life of the Recovery Act.