Gov. Ivey awards $1.3 million to Community Action

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Governor Kay Ivey recently awarded grants totaling more than $5.8 million dollars to agencies that help low-income residents lower their energy costs by weatherizing their homes. Just over $1.3 million is going to Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama Inc., an agency that serves Etowah, Blount, Cherokee, DeKalb, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall and St. Clair counties.

The grants support Alabama’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides funds to improve the energy efficiency and safety of qualifying homes. Priority is given to people with disabilities, the elderly and low-income households with children.

“A change in the weather can lead to a spike in home heating or cooling costs, forcing many to make difficult decisions about how to use their limited funds,” Ivey said. “These grants will help low-income households make upgrades that will significantly reduce heating and cooling bills.”

An energy audit is conducted of each home that qualifies for weatherization assistance to determine the most cost-efficient measures. Common improvements include installing extra insulation in the attic, walls and floor; sealing air leaks around doors and windows; repairs or tune-ups for air conditioning and heating units; and replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs. In addition to lowering energy bills, the improvements can reduce the risk of fire and other hazards.

Ivey awarded the grants to 13 community agencies throughout the state that manage the program at the local level and accept applications from individuals seeking assistance.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Making a home more energy efficient is a lasting solution to lower utility bills,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA joins Governor Ivey in support of these local agencies that assist families with long-term improvements that make a big difference in energy bills.”

Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama Inc. was awarded $1,381,962. For more information on Community Action Agency, visit www.caaneal.org or call 256-638-4430.

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