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'Stimulus' Money To Help Weatherize Missouri Homes

The word "stimulus" is tossed around a lot in Washington these days, yet many Americans have yet to see the impact of the federal government’s efforts to get the economy rolling again.But some Missourians may soon feel the effects of the stimulus package, through keeping their homes energy-efficient.KSMU’s Erika Brame has more.

Updating a home isn’t something everyone can just jump right into.Especially for low-income families and elderly people who live in homes where the windows are old and the heating system is out of date.But help in getting the cash to fix those things and lower energy bills may be on its way.President Obama signed legislation that set aside about $128,000,000 for Missouri’s portion of the Low-income Weatherization Assistance Program.This program is designed to help low-income people update their homes for better energy efficiency.The Ozark Area Community Action Corporation pulls funding from this state program to do just that.The group works in over 10 local counties, including Greene County. Kerry Cordray is the spokesman for the Energy Center in Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources.He says the mission is to improve a home’s heating and cooling, while at the same time lowering energy costs.“The crew from the weatherization agency comes and does a whole house evaluation that includes: insulation, the amount of air that moves in and out of the building, the efficiency of the heating and cooling equipment, really everything that has a bearing on the energy performance of that dwelling.”

Those families that did not qualify for the program in the past may be eligible this year.Cordray says implementing these new standards will help stimulate the local economy.“Again the agencies use their own crews or they contract out the work to area businesses. Most products are purchased from local or regional manufacturers. So, indirectly through that multiplier effect weatherization funds end up being used and reused which stimulates businesses, the economy, creating jobs and having an overall great effect from an economic point of view.”For KSMU News I’m Erika Brame.


Missouri's Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program