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Spokane to Receive Stimulus Dollars for Home Weatherization

Release Date: 4/9/2009 12:00:00 AM

Contact: Marlene Feist, 625-6740

SPOKANE, WA – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) was joined on Tuesday, April 7, by Spokane Mayor Mary Verner, Larry Stuckart, Executive Director of SNAP, and others to discuss the impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is having on communities throughout Spokane. Included as part of ARRA, was $59 million for Washington state benefitting low-income families who weatherize their homes, and job creation in this industry. Cantwell has long championed funding for weatherization and other energy efficient technologies. The Spokane Neighborhood Assistant Program, or SNAP, has been weatherizing homes in Spokane County for more than 25 years, and since 1993, has weatherized 5,677 homes. Current annual Department of Energy funding for SNAP’s weatherization program is $465,000. With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, SNAP will now receive $1.73 million and be able to weatherize an additional 600 homes.

“Since 1976, the Weatherization Assistance Program has helped low-income families make energy efficient improvements to their homes,” said Cantwell. “In Washington, more than 85,000 homes have received weatherization services. This investment will go straight to some of Washington’s most vulnerable families to make energy efficient improvements to their homes, and will create more than 4,000 jobs state-wide. SNAP is a vivid illustration of the good that can come from this weatherization funding, and this funding will enable them to create 10 new jobs. As we continue looking for ways to move our country toward a clean energy future, weatherization can save families hundreds of dollars and create hundreds of jobs.”

“SNAP expresses our gratitude to Senator Cantwell for her key roll in securing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. As a result, at least 10 direct jobs at SNAP will be created. Plus, we will weatherize 600 additional homes for low income families in Spokane County. The bottom line is that SNAP can provide additional services creating lower heating bills and additional living wage employment,” said Larry Stuckart, Executive Director of Spokane Neighborhoods Action Program.

“Washington state will receive nearly $60 million of stimulus funds that will create jobs and save our low-income families money, thanks to efforts by Sen. Maria Cantwell. The Senator fought hard for increased support of weatherization programs in the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” said Spokane Mayor Mary Verner. “Nationally, this investment will increase energy efficiency and reduce our dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Locally, this funding will pay for weatherization of at least 600 homes over the next three years, creating green jobs and implementing real energy and cost savings for families in Spokane.”

The DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program allows low-income families to reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient, reducing heating bills by an average of 32 percent and overall energy bills by hundreds of dollars per year. It will allow an average investment of up to $6,500 per home in energy efficiency upgrades and will be available for families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level – or about $44,000 for a family of four.

Video of News Conference

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