With temperatures dropping and the cost of heating homes soaring, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Paul Tonko have begun a strong push for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the State Energy Program (SEP). The WAP will assist families in lowering costs for heating by making homes more energy efficient. State-of-the-art testing protocols are used to determine just how each home can conserve heat and energy, while also helping to provide that help. The SEP helps the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) in allowing funding and support for various research, programs and planning.
“With winter here and temperatures plummeting, that means higher energy costs for families and businesses,” Senator Gillibrand said, adding “During these tough economic times, many New Yorkers simply cannot afford this added strain on their budgets – especially since New Yorkers already pay more than the national average for energy costs. Weatherization programs help save families hundreds on energy costs while supporting local construction, small businesses, and manufacturing jobs.”
Debbie Dynysiuk, who received aid from these initiatives said "They gave me a new furnace, new water heater, a couple of new doors, insulated a lot of new areas of my home.”
Families with an annual income up to $49,000 can apply for aid, however; Senator Gillibrand stated "Right now in the Capital Region alone, we have over 800 families still on the waiting list just hoping they'll get selected for this weatherization.”
A push for more funding would allow more families to receive these benefits, thus reducing the wait-list considerably.