Cathy Zoi on Weatherization
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CATHY ZOI: Hi, there. I’m Cathy Zoi, assistant secretary of energy at the Department of Energy, and I’m here to talk a little bit about the Weatherization Assistance Program.
As you all know, the weatherization program was funded to the tune of $5 billion under the recovery act, and that was a huge ramp-up from what we had in the past. What I’m here to say to you is, congratulations, because we’ve actually reached our run rate. We are now weatherizing 25,000 homes nationally a month; 25,000 homes of low-income people across this country are benefiting from the good work that you all are doing on the ground. And again, congratulations for that great effort, and we thank you so very much.
This was a huge challenge. I mean, what we’ve been able to do so far is create already more than 10,000 jobs in the first quarter. People are benefiting by the job creation. Crews are being added, trucks are being added; more homes are getting weatherized.
And the individual families that are benefiting, it’s fantastic. Just a couple of weeks ago, I visited New Hampshire and the home of Jackie Douhan (ph). Her energy bills went down 40 percent this year. She’s an elderly lady who’s now comfortable and can stay in her home, and she’s received a great set of weatherization services from a local community action agency. It’s just brilliant.
Look, this is the beginning of an entire transformation to a clean-energy economy, one in which every home in America can become energy efficient. And the weatherization assistance program is leading the way at this transformation.
So again, we thank you for your work. We’re looking forward to continued success as we reach the president’s target of nearly 600,000 homes over the next couple of years.