WASHINGTON — As a deep freeze hit many parts of the nation, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced that President Bush’s 2004 budget includes $288.2 million for the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Weatherization Assistance Program. According to the DOE, this represents an increase of $11.2 million above the president’s fiscal year 2003 request.

The National Energy Policy made the Weatherization Assistance Program a priority, recommending that it be increased by $1.4 billion over 10 years. This year, the DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program will reduce the energy bills of approximately 126,000 low-income families nationwide — 3,000 more than 2003 and a 20 percent increase over 2002. The DOE said that the program will also provide jobs and improve the environment.

— by J.J. Siegel

Publication date: 02/03/2003