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Weatherization-gate Watch: Indiana

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports (stick around for the last line of the excerpt):

Already late to start, Indiana’s stimulus-funded home weatherization program is scrambling to get up to speed and meet its goal of improving energy efficiency in 8,661 homes by June.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority says so far 1,577 homes statewide are either “in process” or have been completed. Still, that’s just 18 percent of the number the agency wants completed by May 30.

“What we have seen in the first two and a half months is nothing like what we will see in the next three months,” Paul Krievens, weatherization program manager, said.

To get the work done, the authority distributed stimulus grants totaling $55 million to weatherization programs run by 30 local agencies and organizations across Indiana.

Households with incomes under 150 percent of the federal poverty level can qualify for the stimulus-funded weatherization, which can include insulation, sealing and even furnace replacement. For example, a family of four with an annual income of $33,075 would qualify.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority was about three months late in distributing the stimulus funds because the federal government questioned several components of Indiana’s plan, including its intent to spend up to $5,000 per home rather than the $6,500 limit Congress set.

The politically powerful Indiana Builders Association won the largest single grant of $20.7 million to weatherize homes in more than 35 counties. CEO Rick Wajda said the association hopes to complete weatherization of 3,000 homes by May.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” Wajda said.

Wajda said he did not know if any homes were yet completed, although the association has received responses from 1,000 qualifying homeowners seeking services in the first six weeks of the program.

$20.7 million to Wajda’s company and he has no idea how many homes have been weatherized yet? I wonder how many jobs saved or created this $20.7 million generated in Obama’s stimulus math?

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