Area to see low-income homes upgraded for energy efficiency

Published 3:12 pm Thursday, July 23, 2009

WETUMPKA — Residents in six counties, including Dallas, won’t have to go to bed cold this winter.

The Elmore-Autauga Community Action Committee will receive $1,969,359 in stimulus money to help low-income people reduce their home energy costs.

The Elmore-Autauga Community Action Committee is a non-profit created by the federal government to combat poverty in designated areas. The committee covers Autauga, Chilton, Dallas, Elmore, Perry and Shelby counties.

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The money awarded by the state is part of $30.6 million designated statewide and announced by Gov. Bob Riley Thursday to help individuals cut their utility bills by making homes more energy efficient.

This is the second award from the state. The first was $9.26 million in late June with $4.86 million coming from the federal stimulus law.

The American Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus act, saw $1 billion poured into Alabama, extended health insurance for laid-off workers and provided tax cuts for more than 97 percent of Alabama’s residents.

Marion Dunlap, director of the Elmore-Autauga Community Action Committee, said 209 dwellings will benefit from the latest round of stimulus money.

The weatherization program allows representatives from the the committee to go into targeted, qualified homes and assess them for air infiltration, then install measures to upgrade the homes to become more energy efficient.

Those installations could range from placing more insulation in the walls to replacing windows, up to $6,500 per dwelling, she said.

“We can’t do any roofs, which is bad,” Dunlap said.

This allocation also will allow for installation of central air and heating units in some dwellings, she said.

Counties units include: Autauga, 22 dwellings; Chilton, 29; Dallas, 68; Elmore, 29; Perry, 19 and Shelby, 42.