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DCED announces changes to state weatherization plan, seeks public input

As the green jobs movement continues to explore energy-saving solutions, you would be forgiven for misunderstanding certain terms. And you wouldn’t be alone. Some of these terms are broad and difficult to quantify. For example, weatherization–the process of adding insulation and plugging HVAC leaks to save energy–is a concept backed by millions in state and federal energy grants. So rest easy; if environmental concepts confuse you, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development’s Weatherization office now has a system in place to measure the success or failure of such projects.

Updates to state-wide plans happen all the time but, with alternative energy and green jobs clearly becoming a statewide priority, the DCED is expanding efforts to inform the public of any changes that might affect their lives. On June 23, the department announced that they would be holding a community meeting to lay out changes to the state weatherization plan and take public input and questions.

“Every time we make a change to this plan, we hold a public hearing. It’s a pretty normal thing we do,” says Craig Heim, Executive Director at the Office of Energy Conservation & Weatherization. “Usually if we are going to see a strong reaction, it will be beyond the public hearings that we have. But there has been a strong reaction to the performance funding.”

Heim refers to a new system his office has developed to create performance-based milestones for weatherization programs based on overall energy savings. Measuring and compiling data for 12 months before weatherization and 12 months after, he says, will give the state a better grasp on the effectiveness of weatherization programs as they look to expand through big business centers and public housing buildings in the next year.

Source: Craig Heim, PA DCED
Writer: John Steele

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