U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited the Community Action Planning Council to voice her support for the Weatherization Assistance Program, a federally-funded program that helps families reduce energy bills by making homes more energy efficient. The program’s funding has been drastically reduced, beginning April 1, 2013. Senator Gillibrand has traveled around the state to rally local support of the Weatherization Assistance Program.
“With winter here and temperatures plummeting, that means higher energy costs for families and businesses,” said Senator Gillibrand. “During these tough economic times, many New Yorkers simply cannot afford this added strain on their budgets– especially since New Yorkers already pay more than the national average for energy costs. Weatherization programs help save families hundreds on energy costs while supporting local construction, small businesses and manufacturing jobs.”
“The Weatherization Assistance Program is one way in which the lives of low-income families are improved – by providing warmth and reducing energy costs, thereby increasing their ability to purchase other bare necessities such as food and medicine,” said Melinda Gault, Executive Director for the Community Action Planning Council. “In the bitter cold winter environment of the north country, Weatherization is a vital service for low-income households.”
As part of today’s press conference, Christine Davenport, a local resident whose home has been weatherized, shared what the program has meant to her family. “The savings in energy costs have made a big difference in the family budget,” said Christine. “Thanks to the Weatherization program, my home is warmer, safer, and greener.”
There are currently 350 families on the agency’s Weatherization waiting list. At current funding levels, it would take 3 and 1/2 years to accommodate these families.
At the conclusion of the program, students from the Community Action Planning Council’s Head Start program presented Senator Gillibrand with custom-made t-shirts for each member of her family. Back row, from left: William Tennet, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Lianna McAtee, Sydney Lambert, Head Start/Pre-K Director Marie Ambrose, and Ariel Raymond. Front row, from left: Landon John, Adaya Clark, Nathan Keruskie, and Nicholas Burr.