CHENANGO COUNTY – As the temperature drops and the days turn shorter, Opportunities For Chenango, Inc. is calling on Chenango County residents to take advantage of the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program aimed at reducing the energy burden on low-income families.
According to Opportunities For Chenango, Inc. (OFC), low-income families pay an average of 16.3 percent of their annual incomes on energy bills, leaving them with less money for other necessities like groceries, medical bills, and mortgage payments.
"The programs help households reduce their heat and electric bills by providing energy saving measures that we install at no cost to them," said Energy Services Director at OFC, Susan Bard. "It allows them to have more money that they can use for other needs."
Low-income households can benefit from the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) by applying at Opportunities For Chenango, Inc. to determine their eligibility for the program. Program participants will have their homes insulated, sealed, and installed with other energy saving measures such as LED lightbulbs and low-flow shower heads.
On average, OFC says WAP beneficiaries will save $283 annually after the weatherization is complete. It also makes the home warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and safer all year round.
"It's not a one-time fix, it's ongoing," said Bard. "They are permanent measures that are installed, and it adds up. It helps that family to better afford their heat and electric bills, which is usually a huge portion of their budget."
Bard said OFC will weatherize 51 units for the contract year that began on April 1 and ends on March 31, 2019, and 21 of those opportunities remain. Those who apply for the program and are determined eligible but are not selected this year will at least be added to the production schedule to be weatherized at a later date, said Bard, noting OFC gets funded every year...