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Weatherization Efforts Stall Amid Bueraucratic Holdups, Recession

EEI Daily Energy News

 President Obama's plan to channel federal funds into weatherization has gained little traction with less than 2 percent of the homes expected to be affected utilizing the assistance, the New York Times reported today.  The article, based on a U.S. Department of Energy Inspector General's report, said the federal economic stimulus funds earmarked for weatherization have generally sat idle. DOE IG Gregory H. Friedman called the lack of progress "alarming" because neither goal -- weatherization or job creation -- was achieved.

Wrote the Times: "Most of the weatherization projects involve improving insulation and replacing leaky windows and doors in the homes of low-income residents. Under the 2009 Recovery Act, $5 billion was allotted for weatherproofing apartments and houses over three years, up from $450 million in the previous fiscal year. States were authorized to spend up to 50 percent of the money they received by the end of December, the report said. Yet the report said action was hobbled by bureaucratic delays and by the recession itself, as spending cuts resulting from the economic downturn forced states to trim personnel expenses."

New York Times, Feb. 24.