Agency to make 118 homes more energy efficient

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Low-income families spend four times as much of their income on energy than the average American.

In order to help these families reduce energy costs and improve the energy efficiency of their homes, the Department of Energy is spending more than $220 million on the Weatherization Assistance Program. Missouri is receiving $6 million for this program.

The East Missouri Action Agency, which heads the weatherization effort for Cape Girardeau County and seven others, has received $251,513 for work on 118 homes.

Walt Goodman, weatherization director for the agency, said 21 homes in Cape Girardeau County will be helped through the program this year.

There are currently 69 houses on the waiting list for weatherization in the county, a number that is somewhat low according to Goodman.

"We try to keep it at 100," he said. "But some people have been on the list for 12 months and get tired of waiting, not knowing we are just now getting the money."

Goodman said the agency updates the list every month and drops households that do not respond.

Weatherization work includes installation of insulation and replacement of broken furnaces and water heaters.

The work usually has a payback between 2.5 and 2.8 percent over the 20-year life expectancy of the materials, Goodman said.

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