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Free and low cost weatherization available to Wrangell residents

Monday, November 07, 2011

WRANGELL, ALASKA (2011-11-07) Winter weather is here, and with the colder temps more home owners are feeling the crunch of higher electric bills. To help residents safeguard their homes from the cold, the Alaska Community Development Corporation is offering free or low cost weatherization to Wrangell homeowners. KSTK’s Charlotte Duren has more.

The Alaska Community Development Corporation is helping families save money by getting homes across the state winter ready. Housing Manager Curt Christiansen says the Community Development Corporation is currently accepting applications for their free weatherization program, which still has twenty spots open for Wrangell residents. Christiansen says weatherizing is a simple and cost effective process.

“We take a look at the heating system in the home and its efficiency and safety. We then look at insulation in the house, analyze windows and doors, and the assessor then creates a payback schedule and decide what we do that will save the most energy,” he says.

The weatherization program is funded through state and federal funding. The basis of the program is to retrofit homes so they use less energy for heating and lighting. The free weatherization program is available to families of four that make $70,000 a year or less or a single family resident making $49,000 a year in Wrangell qualify. If you don’t meet the requirements for the free program Christiansen says there are other options.

“First I would say to check in with Alaska housing finance and see if you can qualify for the energy rebate program, which is a sister program to the free weatherization program. The free program has an income guideline for median home incomes. If they are over the income they can get into the energy rebate program,” he says.

The energy rebate program has no income guidelines and works on a first come, first serve basis. But if you’re looking to make a few changes yourself Christiansen says homeowners should replace old boiler systems with new more energy efficient systems, check for air leaks throughout their homes, as well as add insulation to drafty attics or crawl spaces.

The Alaska weatherization program is offered year round. To request an application you can call 1-800-478-8080 or you can visit www.alaskacdc.org.

Charlotte Duren
kstk.org



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