Since July 2009, the agency exceeded its benchmark goal and weatherized a total of 166 homes.
The celebration took place in Nashville last week during the 2010 Fall Conference of the Tennessee Association of Community Action.
Executive director Demetrius Ramsey, program coordinator Jacqueline Smart Westfield and Jarret Brown accepted the award on behalf of the agency and the people of Cleveland and Bradley County.
Tennessee is a leader in the Weatherization Assistance Program. Nearly 11,000 homes have been weatherized across the state through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The state was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its “dedication and extraordinary efforts” toward the goals of the Recovery Act.
“Our partners across the state have worked tirelessly to meet and even pass the goals we set out for them last year,” said Lodge. “More than 10,000 Tennessee families are reaping the benefits along with hundreds of energy auditors and contractors who were put to work through this program.”
In the past Tennessee could weatherize only a few thousand homes a year with its average annual budget of $3 to 4 million for the federally funded program. The Recovery Act sent $99 million to Tennessee for this home efficiency program last September.
The program will continue until the funds are exhausted. Cost-effective weatherization measures, including adding insulation and weather stripping, are performed to make a home more efficient, thereby lowering a home’s energy burden and reducing the consumer’s utility bills.
Eligibility for the program is based on established federal poverty guidelines and income, and cannot exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty limit (that’s $44,100/year for a family of four). Interested applicants may download a short application from the Tennessee DHS website and submit it to their local Weatherization agency.