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Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties’ (CAP-BM) weatherization program is changing rapidly. The nonprofit received an additional $3,661,355 in funding, from the Recovery Act in an effort to help residents lower energy costs.
New Hampshire based CAP-BM is named for the two counties it serves, both a mix of rural and urban areas. With the funding, more low-income residents can have their homes weatherized, free of charge.
A growing program means a growing workforce. Dana Nute is the weatherization director for CAP-BM. “We now employ more people. We needed more square footage so physically we had to expand,” he says. 72 new positions have been created within the Community Action Agencies and over 220 contractors to meet the demand for weatherization throughout New Hampshire and the numbers are continually increasing.
Typical energy upgrades made to homes include adding insulation to attics, walls, and floors, air sealing, and upgrading appliances with more energy efficient options. These small changes can make a big difference. Dana says, on average, homeowners can lower monthly energy bills by $250-$300.
New Hampshire residents are sure to notice the changes as more take advantage of the expanded program. Says Dana, “Now that we have more funding, there’s more we can do.”