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Stimulus Dollars Flood Energy Offices

July 15th, 2009 by Anna Laura Rehwinkel

Florida is receiving 175 million federal stimulus dollars to make homes more energy efficient. The money will be distributed through nonprofit groups and as Whitney Ray tells us, there are concerns about the states ability to keep track of that much cash.

A quick energy audit can help you save hundreds of dollars on utility bills. Preparing your house for a storm can save you thousands.

Florida is receiving 175 million stimulus dollars to make homes more energy efficient. The money will flow from the state to non-profit organizations in every county. The Capital Area Community Action Agency is one of them. The agency will receive 6 million for four counties.

Our normal weatherization fund is around 350-thousand dollars for all of those counties, said the Agencys Directory Dorothy Johnson.

The agency is hiring extra staff to help keep track of how the money is being spent. The money wont begin circulating in Florida until September, but five states that have already received the weatherization dollars are reporting misused funds. Floridas Stimulus Czar Don Winstead says extra measures will be in place to keep every one honest.

I think the Department of Community Affairs has built a strong oversight mechanism there for paying attention to those monies to audit before the homes are repaired and to go check afterwards, said Winstead.

The Department of Community Affairs is hiring ten extra people to make sure contractors are doing the work the state is paying them to do. In the past, families that qualified could receive 25-hundred dollars to weatherize their homes. Because of the stimulus money the amount has been raised to 65-hundred. To see if you qualify for an energy audit or upgrades to your home, you can log onto our website and find an office near you.

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