"Next month, a new class of a dozen or more men and women will begin training in Long Island City, N.Y., to become home weatherization technicians. They are early recruits in a small army of workers being deployed in places around the country where there were only skeleton crews before.
A vastly accelerated version of the federal weatherization program -- begun in 1976 to cut heating oil bills for low-income homes -- is just getting under way. It is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus legislation, passed eight months ago. The act allots $5 billion over three years to improve insulation and replace leaky windows and doors for lower-income homeowners and apartment residents.
Based now on the premise that more energy efficiency is the quickest, cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the campaign is a long reach for a federally funded weatherization program. Recently, it has been running at $225 million a year, the General Accounting Office notes. Just eight of 14 states surveyed by GAO had begun weatherizing programs using the Recovery Act as of the end of August."