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Tonko Weatherization Bill Advances to Full Committee

Legislation would extend, modernize popular Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income households

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Washington, May 16, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTONEnvironment & Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko announced the advance of his legislation out of the Energy & Commerce Energy Subcommittee today to extend and modernize the popular Weatherization Assistance Program. Tonko’s bill was approved by voice vote and goes now to the full Energy & Commerce Committee for consideration.

“America’s weatherization program is more than just a smart investment in energy efficiency that saves money for low-income individuals and families,” said Tonko. “A strong and active weatherization program also makes our families and communities safer, reduces climate pollution and supports thousands of local jobs. I am delighted that my colleagues in the Energy Subcommittee have voted to advance this common-sense legislation. I urge the members of our full committee and our counterparts in the Senate to take this legislation up immediately on behalf of our nation’s future and our constituents who need it most.”

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps low-income households insulate their homes from extreme heat and cold and make other cost-effective investments in home energy efficiency upgrades. The legislation, H.R. 2041, The Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act, is co-sponsored by Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL), and Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).

An independent review by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that each Weatherization program dollar delivers $4.50 in benefits including energy savings and improved health & safety. The Weatherization Assistance Program also supports some 8,500 jobs and is responsible for energy efficiency upgrades in millions of homes across the country. Congressional authorization for the program expired in September 2012.

Low-income households pay 7.2% of their household income on energy, more than three times the amount that higher income households pay.

H.R. 2041 

  • Reauthorizes the Weatherization Assistance Program at $350 million through Fiscal Year 2024
  • Modernizes the definition of weatherization materials to include renewable energy technologies and other advanced technologies
  • Allows re-weatherization of homes 15 years after past weatherization services were completed
  • Creates a small, competitive grant program to support innovative weatherization practices

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