Maine will receive $7 million in federal stimulus money to continue its weatherization assistance program for low-income residents, state and federal officials said Thursday.

Maine has weatherized more than 2,000 homes with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The state has been a national leader in weatherization, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We appreciate the support of the federal Recovery Act in helping Maine achieve our goals to weatherize our old housing stock, conserve energy and grow jobs,” said Gov. John Baldacci. “Maine has taken a leading role in weatherization because we know that conservation is the most cost-effective way to reduce our dependence on oil.”

The weatherization program is creating thousands of jobs, putting carpenters, electricians, and factory workers to work installing insulation, upgrading appliances and improving heating and cooling systems.

According to state reports, the program supported more than 13,000 jobs in the second quarter of this year, including nearly 175 jobs in Maine.

In addition, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Thursday that six high-performing weatherization agencies in Maine have been selected to receive $7 million to install solar hot water systems and hot water heat pumps, replace inefficient washers with Energy Star-qualified models, and do select heating system upgrades.

The award selections were part of $120 million in awards announced nationally to complement and expand existing weatherization programs.

The agencies are: the Aroostook County Action Program in Presque Isle, Community Concepts Inc. in South Paris, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program in Waterville, Penquis Community Action Program in Bangor, Waldo Community Action Partners in Belfast, and Western Maine Community Action in East Wilton.


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