The Bulletin Board
$6.2 million for weatherization assistance approved by Executive Council
Eric Chabot, an energy auditor for Turn Cycle Solutions, assesses a Milford home to see how much cold air is entering the home. (Amanda Gokee | New Hampshire Bulletin)
The state will receive $6.2 million in federal money for its weatherization assistance program, following approval from the Executive Council last week.
The money comes ahead of a particularly expensive winter heating season, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that found households heating with natural gas could see almost a 30 percent increase in heating expenses from last year.
Around $5.6 million of the federal money will go towards grants to assist income-eligible individuals and households pay for weatherizing their homes, according to the Department of Energy’s request. An additional $130,000 will be spent on two temporary full-time positions to administer the program, the department stated.
“We’re bringing on full-time temporary staff to help administer those funds because it’s considerably more than we typically receive per year,” said Jared Chicoine, commissioner of the Department of Energy, during last week’s Executive Council meeting.
Currently the department handles around $2 million in federal funds, according to the department’s request.
The federal funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provided New Hampshire around $18 million for its weatherization assistance program. The state will receive that money over five years.
The $6.2 million has already been approved by the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee. Those earning 60 percent of the state median income are eligible for the program. That includes a family of four earning up to $74,941 or an individual up to $38,969.
The program covers energy efficiency improvements like insulation and air sealing for both renters and homeowners. Those interested can apply through their local community action agencies.
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