MCAAA Awarded Low-Income Energy Grants

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The Michigan Community Action Agency Association has been awarded two grants related to energy efficiency and low income families, including a $15 million grant to administer a federal Department of Energy American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program to weatherize low income, multi-unit housing across the state. The duration of the grant is 21 months, beginning in August.

MCAAA will work with CleaResult Consulting of Okemos to provide outreach to residents and building owners. Eligible buildings will include Housing and Urban Development Qualified Assisted Housing. The majority of building residents must be income-eligible for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, currently at 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Eligible buildings and units will undergo an energy audit performed by certified Michigan inspectors to determine what measures should be taken to increase energy efficiency. MCAAA and CleaResult Consulting will issue a Request for Quotations to identify and select qualified contractors to perform the work. Weatherization measures typically include furnace repair or replacement, installation of insulation, and reduction of air leaks around windows and doors, among other improvements.

“This work will extend the great success our member agencies have had in the home weatherization program over the last four decades,” said MCAAA executive director James E. Crisp. “Now low income residents and owners of apartment buildings will start receiving the savings and other benefits of energy efficiency, and Michigan contractors will be doing the work.”

MCAAA was also named the administrator of a $1.9 million grant that will fund a pilot program for the Michigan Public Service Commission on energy affordability in southeast and western Michigan. This program will engage households that are in arrears in their utility bills and provide case management to the residents in an effort to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and management of their finances. It will also help determine if the MPSC should establish separate utility rates for low income households. MCAAA is partnering with DTE Energy, The Heat and Warmth Fund, and ClearResult Consulting on the pilot program.

The Michigan Community Action Agency Association is the state association of the 30 Community Action Agencies that provide programs and services to low income families and individuals in all 83 Michigan counties. Its Web site includes links to CAAs around Michigan at www.mcaaa.org.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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