ACAP Weatherization earns big grant

ELIZABETHTOWN - A $565,000 grant awarded to Adirondack Community Action Program's Weatherization Assistance Program will aid efforts to make homes throughout Essex County more energy-efficient.

"We're very fortunate to receive the funding and pleased that the funding can have such a positive impact in the community," said ACAP executive director Alan Jones.

In late June, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal named ACAP as one of 24 agencies across the state to receive funds from a $55.4 million incentive pool through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To be eligible for the incentive grant, the agency had to complete or begin construction on at least 30 percent of the units they initially agreed to assist.

"We're also very pleased with the staff as we were one of only 15 counties in the state to meet production goals," Jones said.

The grant will make it possible for ACAP's Weatherization Assistance Program to reduce its waiting list and to address multi-family buildings.

For instance, the extra funding will enable the program address energy issues in 15 group homes. Residents of these homes had been on the waiting list for weatherization.

The program was able to leverage and partner with Mountain Lake Services, the owner of the homes, allowing for a complete "whole house system approach" that will provide more energy-efficient measures, explained Barbara Allen, ACAP Weatherization and Energy Services director.

Senior housing in Essex County has also been added to the list of WAP projects, including three assisted living homes in Lake Placid, Bloomingdale, and Ticonderoga for a total of 82 units. ACAP anticipates weatherizing at least two more multi-dwellings for an additional 160 units.

"For some of the larger projects, like the one in Lake Placid, we will solicit bids for independent contractors to complete that work," said Jones.

It is projected that, by next winter, the program will have weatherized approximately 325 units in Essex County with an estimated cost of fuel savings of between $105,625 and $113,750. This equates to an average savings of $325 to $350 per household weatherized.

Statewide, an estimated 7,700 homes will be weatherized through the latest round of incentive grants. The state is reportedly on track to meet its March 2012 weatherization goals as part of ARRA.

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