Grant to help residents in Madison and Limestone Counties reduce utility bills

If you have been experiencing financial difficulty paying high utility bills, you could be eligible to receive some help as part of a grant that Governor Bob Riley has awarded to our area. People who qualify include those with disabilities, the elderly, and low-income residents.

Governor Riley has awarded $97,515 for home weatherization to the Community Action Partnership of Huntsville, Madison, and Limestone. The organization will use the funds to make home energy improvements in 27 homes in Limestone and Madison counties. On average, weatherization can reduce a home's energy costs by $358 a year.

"I am pleased to support this program that helps Alabamians reduce home fuel needs, lower utility bills and improve their quality of life," Riley said. The weatherization program performs energy audits to identify the most cost-effective measures for each home, which typically include adding attic and wall insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing the heating and cooling systems, and providing health and safety diagnostic services.

In 2006, over 1,000 Alabama homeowners benefited from the weatherization grant program. Americans spend 3.5 percent of their income on paying energy bills, but for lower-income households the costs average 14 percent.

Riley awarded the grant from funds made available to the state through the U.S. Department of Energy.