Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced today that the full committee unanimously approved $300 million—$46 million more than last year—for the Weatherization Assistance Program. The funding was included in the fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
Earlier this year, Senators Collins and Jack Reed (D-RI) led a group of 45 Senators in urging the chairman and ranking member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee to support funding for this important program.
“I am pleased that the Weatherization Assistance Program received a substantial increase of $46 million, which will help make important energy efficiency improvements in homes,” said Senator Collins. “Heating assistance programs remain important lifelines that help prevent vulnerable individuals from having to choose between heating their home, paying their bills, or going without food or medicine. The Weatherization Assistance Program is a cost-effective way to reduce energy usage and cut low-income homeowners’ energy bills for the long-term.”
The Weatherization Assistance Program enables families, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Since its introduction, WAP has helped to reduce the burden of high home energy prices for more than 7.4 million low-income households. Maine households received over $3.5 million in WAP funds respectively for FY 2019 as part of over $262 million allocated to states. Since 2010, Maine has received $22.1 million in WAP funding and has been able to successfully weatherize more than 2,500 homes and rental units across the state, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Senator Collins also secured report language encouraging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue coordinating its weatherization projects with its efforts to remove lead-based hazards from homes.