To find out more about the Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program, or other similar programs, go to the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation Web site at www.kshousingcorp.org or call 785-296-5865.
For more information on the Efficiency Kansas loan program, go to www.efficiencykansas.com or call the State Energy Office at 785-271-3170.
Topeka Homes and buildings in Kansas will be much more energy efficient because of federal stimulus funds, state officials say.
“This is a tremendous win, win, win situation,” said Kansas Corporation Commissioner Joe Harkins.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Kansas will receive $37.2 million for a new revolving loan fund for cost-effective, energy efficiency improvements in homes and small businesses.
The program is expected to be launched in November, officials said.
Under the program, Kansans would work with participating banks or utilities and get an energy audit to determine what improvements would best suit their situation.
In another part of federal stimulus funding, state officials will work with local officials to promote the adoption of building codes for energy efficiency.
Harkins said the state won’t dictate building codes, but wants to apply “social pressure.” That means, he said, buyers will demand more energy efficient homes when they see how they could save on their utility bills.
“We’re really attempting to change the marketplace,” Harkins said, but added, “It’s not going to be done with the heavy hand of government.”
The federal stimulus package also greatly increased the amount of money available for the Kansas Weatherization Assistance Program, which is designed to help low-income households by reducing their utility bills through energy efficiency.
Kansas will receive approximately $56 million over three years in this program, and has already spent $1.5 million. Funds may be used for leakage reductions, incidental repairs, health and safety measures, furnace and cooling system repair and replacement, insulation and replacement of inefficient refrigerators.
“Out of the remaining $54 million, we have a number of commitments and that drawdown will come off fairly rapidly,” said Steve Weatherford, who is president of the Kansas Development Finance Authority.
The energy efficiency programs are “helping develop a new sector of our economy,” said Lt. Gov. Troy Findley.