Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu are marking a milestone in the effort to make homes more energy efficient.
Chu announced Thursday that 600,000 homes nationwide have received weatherization upgrades under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In a conference call with reporters, he said the department reached its goal three months ahead of schedule. Dayton told Chu that the federal funding has helped Minnesota far exceed its average of weatherizing about 3,000 homes a year.
"We've already weatherized over 18,000 homes, using $124 million in the stimulus funding from your department. That's about 90 percent of our appropriation," Dayton said. "We expect to be able to weatherize another 1,500 homes, which means almost 20,000 homes."
Dayton said the stimulus-funded weatherization in Minnesota has created about 1,000 full-time equivalent jobs. He said the participating low-income households will save about $400 in annual energy costs.