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MONTGOMERY -- Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $924,255 to assist low-income and elderly Alabama residents who need help reducing their home’s utility bills, according to a press release.

Grants were awarded to three agencies that serve residents in The Daily Home’s coverage area:

  • $60,236 to the Community Action Agency of Talladega, Clay, Randolph, Calhoun and Cleburne, 256-362-6611;

  • $25,607 to Community Action Committee Inc. of Chambers-Tallapoosa-Coosa,  256-825-4287; and

  • $69,293 to Community Action Agency of Northeast Alabama Inc. (serving Blount, Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Jackson, Marshall and St. Clair counties) 256-638-4430.

The grants are supporting Alabama’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which provides funds to improve the energy efficiency and safety of qualifying homes. Priority is given to those with disabilities, the elderly and low-income households with children.

“Those living with limited and fixed incomes, including elderly and disabled residents, often struggle to pay higher utility bills in the hot summer months,” Ivey says in the release. “I am pleased that these grants will help make energy-efficiency improvements to their homes, freeing up funds in their budget for other essentials.” 

An energy audit is conducted of each home that qualifies for weatherization assistance to determine the most cost-effective measures. Common improvements include installing insulation in the attic, walls and floor; sealing air leaks around doors and windows; repairs or tune-ups for air conditioning and heating units; and replacing incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs. In addition to lowering energy bills, the improvements can reduce the risk of fire and other hazards.

Ivey awarded the grants to 14 community action agencies across the state that manage the program at the local level and receive applications from individuals who wish to be considered for assistance. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Gov. Ivey and ADECA are committed to helping those who truly need it most throughout the state,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell says in the release. “Through the Weatherization Assistance Program, we’re able to help many elderly, disabled and underserved residents make permanent improvements to lower energy bills during these hot summer months.”