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With home heating costs way up, $33 million will help weatherize Connecticut homes

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal with Waterbury senior Daisy Blash outside her home. John Ferguson of New Opportunities is in the background.
Ebong Udoma
/
WSHU Public Radio
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal with Waterbury senior Daisy Blash outside her home. John Ferguson of New Opportunities is in the background.

With heating expenses expected to skyrocket this year, low-income households have been urged to sign up for federal weatherization programs. That would help save families an average of $437 a year, said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

“This program is a win-win. And my hope is that homeowners would take advantage of that and more community organizations would support them — that more dollars would be made available,” he said.

Retired Waterbury senior Daisy Blash has had her home insulated and a new furnace installed. It’s through a federally funded weatherization program run locally by an agency called New Opportunities. The improvements have helped lower her heating costs, she said. “New Opportunity (sic) has been a real blessing to me through this program,” said Blash.

Blumenthal was at Blash’s home on Monday to highlight $33 million in new federal weatherization funding for the state. The money is from the bipartisan infrastructure deal. It’s 10 times more than what the state got last year.

It’s hard to determine how many more homes the money would benefit, Blumenthal said.

“It will depend a little bit on the expenses for each home. But let me again be very blunt — first come, first serve. If you want to make use of this program, contact New Opportunities or one of the other neighborhood organizations that may provide this kind of assistance,” he said.

Households who qualify can go to https://portal.ct.gov/dss/Economic-Security/Winter-Heating-Assistance/Energy-Assistance---Winter-Heating for low income energy assistance and are also eligible for the home weatherization program.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.