Almost $90 million in new federal funding will boost our efforts to provide energy-efficient home weatherization for more low-income North Carolina families. Last week, President Joe Biden’s Energy Department announced this infusion of funding to states as part of $3.16 billion appropriated by the bipartisan infrastructure law last year.
The existing federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps families save money on their power bills while insulating them from the elements, improving their health, and tackling climate change.
“Home energy retrofits and upgrades — like electrification, heat pumps, LED lighting, insulation, and sealing up leaks -– can slash monthly energy bills for families and improve the air we breathe,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. North Carolina’s share of the funding totals nearly $89.8 million, which will enable the state to assist thousands more low-income households, saving them an average $370 per year on electricity.
“This investment from President Biden and Congress is life-changing,” said Yvette Jones, PowerUp NC Regional Field Director for Winston-Salem. “Our PowerUp Winston-Salem team has been helping low-income residents navigate the weatherization assistance program since 2015, and we still get notes of gratitude from participants who are saving money on their power bills and improving families’ health. There are so many more families who need this help, and now we will be able to help them get it.”
PowerUp is a program of our Foundation. PowerUp’s Winston-Salem team has partnered with a local Black-owned company to perform the weatherization work and conduct job training programs that have landed graduates good jobs in the industry.
Speaking of energy efficiency, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s fourth annual report on the subject shows utilities’ efforts are a powerful decarbonization tool, but the region’s regulators must push Duke Energy and company harder to make sure they do their part in turning this potential into reality.