(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today announced $18 million to help working families across New Hampshire make their homes more energy efficient while lowering utility bills. This expanded funding was announced by the Department of Energy (DOE) for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and was made possible by the bipartisan infrastructure law – which was negotiated by both Shaheen and Hassan. This funding is in addition to regular annual appropriations for the program, which provided approximately $1.9 million for New Hampshire in Fiscal Year 2021.
This announcement follows a letter Shaheen sent in December calling on the Department of Energy to quickly release funding to expand the Weatherization Assistance Program.
“I’m thrilled to see transformational funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which I helped negotiate, reach New Hampshire to help Granite State families insulate themselves against high energy prices and make our communities more climate-resilient. The Weatherization Assistance Program helps our homes become more energy efficient – reducing energy bills while supporting cleaner air and public health. By targeting this assistance to underserved families, this program ensures no one is left behind in our response to the climate crisis,” said Senator Shaheen. “This weatherization program has always been a top priority for me as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. I’ll continue to invest in commonsense, bipartisan measures that help create good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector while investing in the resilience of our communities.”
"We all know how hard New Hampshire winters can be on energy bills, which is why this new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding is so critical. It will help lower costs through energy efficient upgrades, a win-win for families’ bottom lines and the environment,” said Senator Hassan. "This substantial increase in weatherization programs is a downpayment on a brighter future for Granite State families, one where families can better weather our harsh winters and changes to our climate.”
WAP retrofit funding helps homes become more energy efficient through measures like installing insulation, updating heating and cooling systems and updating electrical appliances. This funding announcement increases national funding levels by tenfold for weatherization services. For every dollar invested by WAP, $4.50 is generated in combined energy savings and non-energy benefits such as job creation, according to the U.S Department of Energy. In addition to saving families money, energy efficient homes also help cut down on our carbon footprint, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
As a lead negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure plan, Shaheen helped bolster funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program. In December, Senator Shaheen led a bipartisan letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm, urging DOE to prioritize the release of funds allocated through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the WAP and State Energy Program. That law included a total of $3.5 billion for weatherization. Shaheen has long-championed the WAP program to lower energy costs for low-income families in New Hampshire, as well as the State Energy Program, which assists states with the development of energy efficiency renewable projects. She worked to secure $313 million for WAP in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 government funding legislation - $3 million over previous funding levels. The bill also provides $6 million for weatherization training and technical assistance and $15 million for a new weatherization readiness fund. Senator Shaheen recently joined in introducing bipartisan legislation to codify the weatherization readiness fund and make other improvements to help the program serve more households. In the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was signed into law last year, Shaheen successfully included key provisions of her energy efficiency bill – the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) – with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). She also included the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, the Promoting American Energy Jobs Act and the Heat Efficiency through Applied Technology (HEAT) Act.
Senator Hassan successfully worked to strengthen energy efficiency programs in the bipartisan infrastructure law. The bipartisan package supports domestic battery energy storage development and deployment, technology needed to increase the use of renewable energy sources and eliminate reliability gaps throughout the day. These provisions build on Senator Hassan’s bipartisan Battery Storage Innovation Act – which was signed into law as part of the December government funding package. Senator Hassan also introduced bipartisan legislation to lower energy costs for families by expanding and extending tax credits for energy efficient home upgrades. Senator Hassan has also continued to advocate for strong weatherization program funding for New Hampshire.