The U.S. Department of Energy recently approved the Arizona Department of Housing’s updated Weatherization Assistance Program plan.
The DOE is expected to release 35% of total funding to the state as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which amounts to $47 million, according to a press release.
Arizona’s WAP is among the first in the nation to be approved.
Local clean-energy advocates applauded ADOH for seizing the opportunity to apply for these additional funds to secure more than $23 million for Arizona to enable low-income individuals, families, retirees and veterans to reduce their energy bills.
The remainder of the funds will be made available after initial program milestones are met, the release said.
This funding announcement will transform WAP by expanding weatherization services to 10 times current funding levels, creating job, and reestablishing economic opportunities in communities that have been hit the hardest by economic, racial and environmental injustices.
“As a grassroots organization, we see every day how much our Arizona Latino families are hurting every time they have to decide to either heat or cool their homes or put food on their tables,” Sheril Steinberg, Political and Advocacy Director at Mi Familia Vota Arizona Chapter, said in a press release.
“By assisting families in making a transition towards energy efficiency upgrades in their homes and with job creation that this program will generate, we are not only providing them a way to lower their energy bills but making sure that everyone has the ability to live comfortably and provide for their families.”
Connecting the dots between climate and racial justice to truly build equitable communities is essential.
The Weatherization Assistance Program supports these communities and primarily aims to reduce utility bills for income-eligible households while improving the health and safety of the occupants.
Through weatherization improvements and upgrades, these households save, on average, $372 or more every year, according to a national evaluation of the program.
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