June 08, 2009

Wyden, Merkley Announce $15 million in Recovery Package Funding for Low-Income Weatherization Programs

Washington, D.C. - Continuing efforts to make sure low-income Oregonians have safely heated and more energy efficient homes, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that Oregon's Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAP) will receive more than $15 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"This economic recovery funding will put folks back to work the right way," said Wyden. "We are going to do well by doing good by boosting energy conservation, with the added benefit of helping our economy rebound."

"The funding for weatherization assistance coming to Oregon from the Recovery Act will create jobs and help families save on energy costs," said Merkley. "This is a solid step in the journey of creating jobs by transitioning to a clean energy economy that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce global warming pollution."

Since 1979, federally funded Oregon weatherization assistance programs have provided conservation services, health and safety repairs, heating system repair and replacement, baseload measures and energy education to households at or below 60 percent of Oregon's median income. With priority given to senior citizens and families with young children, locally administered WAP programs have helped thousands of Oregonians keep their homes safe from cold winter weather and made them more energy efficient. These programs are administered through community-based organizations such as CAP agencies, senior centers, housing authorities and tribes.

This funding represents 40 percent of the total ARRA allotment for Oregon Weatherization Programs. The remaining 60 percent will be released after the programs have reached certain predetermined milestones, according the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.