October 26, 2001
Governor John Engler today declared October 30th Weatherization Day in Michigan, bringing the federal government, local community agencies and the state together once again to help low-income residents stay warm this winter.
"The goal of Weatherization Day is to let families who are struggling with seasonally higher energy bills know that there are a number of heating assistance programs available to them," said Governor Engler. "Michigan is dedicated to ensuring that no family has to make the difficult choice between paying their heating bill and meeting other basic needs."
Working with local partners, the Family Independence Agency administers federal funds that reduce the energy burden on low-income families, by installing cost-effective measures that increase a home's energy efficiency.
A network of 33 local agencies primarily community action agencies deliver services to more than 3,000 low-income households each year. Services typically average about $2,000 per household.
"Rising energy bills associated with the winter months affect all families in our community, but the hardest hit are low-income families," said Family Independence Agency Director Douglas E. Howard. "Low-income households can pay as much as 20 percent of their seasonal incomes for energy, compared to 6 percent for middle class households."
Since the inception of Michigan's Weatherization Assistance Program in 1976, more than 235,000 homes have been made more energy efficient. Local technicians use computerized energy audits and advanced diagnostics to determine the most cost-effective measures for each home and assess related health and safety conditions.
These households save an average of $275 to $325 on their annual heating bills after the weatherization work is completed. The weatherization program also checks furnaces and appliances to ensure the families are not exposed to toxic levels of carbon monoxide.
For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, please contact your local community action agency, located in the red "business" pages of your local telephone directory, or visit their web site at http://www.mcaaa.org/Wx_Coordinators2.pdf. Additional information can also be obtained on the FIA web site at www.mfia.state.mi.us.