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RI Office of Energy Resources Issues Contracts to Disperse $12 Million in Recovery Weatherization Funds

Governor Donald L. Carcieri and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) today issued contracts to the state’s seven regional Community Action Program Agencies (CAP agencies) to distribute $12.2 million for the statewide Weatherization Program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Under the Recovery Act, Rhode Island will received $20 million in weatherization funds.

The Weatherization Program is the federal energy efficiency program for low- to moderate-income families. The types of weatherization projects allowed under ARRA include installation of insulation, air and duct sealing, caulking, repairing heating systems and other conservation measures to reduce home heating costs and increase efficiency. These funds are in addition to the regular annual weatherization programs administered by the OER.

“The existing weatherization program is a proven success helping Rhode Island families lower home heating costs,” said Governor Donald L. Carcieri. “With this winter expected to be colder than normal, this extra funding through the Recovery Act is welcome news for many families. This program, however, is about more than helping families. It is also about getting people back to work, especially licensed contractors who have struggled since the decline of the housing market.”

The weatherization program will support efforts to train individuals in the delivery of weatherization services. The Office of Energy Resources, through CCRI will be providing training to weatherization energy auditors for Building Performance Institute (BPI) certification. BPI is a nationally recognized training certification, accreditation and quality assurance program in home performance contracting. Training funding and programming are expected to be available in early November. Dates, times and places for training will be posted on the OER website.

Ronald N. Renaud, Executive Director of the Department of Administration and oversees the Office of Energy Resources, said, “This is a very gratifying stimulus program in that we directly benefit thousands of Rhode Islanders by providing them with the funds that will help them to dramatically reduce their energy consumption and their energy costs. The bottom line is that we’re going to keep a lot more adults and children warm this winter and in future winters.”

Homeowners and renters who meet family income guidelines of less than sixty-percent of the RI median income should contact their local CAP Agencies to apply. Household income guidelines and detailed program information are available at each of the CAPs.

The allocation of funds and estimated numbers of housing units weatherized for the initial portion of the program are as follows:

Program Units Funds
Comprehensive CAP 206 $1,484,426
East Bay CAP 208 $1,496,462
Providence CAP 380 $2,736,389
Blackstone Valley CAP 278 $2,003,427
South County CAP 205 $1,478,139
Tri-Town CAP 204 $1,465,924
West Bay CAP 215 $1,551,435
Total: 1696 $12,216,202

In addition to the funds above, a plan is being developed to provide an additional $6 million to weatherize large, multi-unit properties. Two million dollars of the total weatherization program grant is allocated to training and administration.

The Office of Energy resources was created in 2006 under RIGL 42-140 to consolidate state energy policies and programs. The Office seeks to achieve energy independence for the state through energy efficiency, clean energy and low-income assistance programs that reduce the state’s reliance on imported energy and reduce energy costs and consumption. The office provides comprehensive, integrated development, administration and oversight of energy policies, plans and programs to meet state and federal requirements and to provide policy guidance to the executive and legislative branches of state government.

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