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County program to weatherize 200 homes

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Sangamon County Community Resources Department hopes to save money for 200 households by making their homes more energy-efficient this spring.

The department this week began the bidding process for contractors interested in supplying materials and performing the “weatherization” work, which includes repairing furnaces and installing weather-stripping and insulation, among other energy-saving upgrades.

The goal is to lower utility bills for homeowners and renters whose incomes are double the federal poverty level or less. That’s $22,340 for an individual or $46,100 for a family of four.

Weatherization helps low-income families reduce their energy bills by an average of $437 per year, the department said, and for every dollar spent on weatherizing, the home owner or tenant saves $1.80, according to the Community Resources Department.

Applications for the program are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We want to encourage people to call 535-3120 to get on the list,” community resources executive director Sharmin Doering said.

Renters who meet the income requirements can have the work done with permission from their landlords. The property owner will be required to pay half of any mechanical labor costs, Doering said.

For materials, the department will use a sealed-bid process this year. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said the negotiated bidding process previously used statewide resulted in material prices that were “excessively high,” Doering said.

Contracts for architectural and mechanical labor will be awarded using a competitive bidding process that takes into consideration not only price, but also factors like a contractor’s background and experience, capacity, references and whether it is a minority- or woman-owned firm.

The bids will be awarded in early January, and the work must be completed by the end of June.

Dan Petrella can be reached at 788-1532. Follow him at

Income eligibility for weatherization

Family size   Annual household income

1                   $22,340                       

2                   $30,260           

3                   $38,180                      

4                   $46,100        

5                   $54,020        

6                   $61,940 

Dan Petrella
The State Journal-Register
Sangamon County, Illinois