Weatherization funds available for East Baton Rouge residents

More East Baton Rouge residents will be able to take advantage of weatherization projects to lower their heating and cooling bills thanks to $619,440 in grants the city-parish’s Office of Community Development received from the U.S. Department of Energy.

“It’s a great benefit to East Baton Rouge homeowners,” said Jamie Mabile, director of the city-parish Office of Community Development. “You can get things like added insulation, caulking and weather stripping.”

Other repairs offered by the program include sealing cracks around windows and doors, repairing ducts, and tuning and repairing heating and cooling units.

The measures reduce the average energy costs by about $300 per dwelling.

In previous years, Baton Rouge has been awarded between $200,000 and $300,000, meaning this year the program will be available to more residents.

From 2009 to 2012, the program has reached between 90 and 276 people per year, Mabile said.

The assistance is available only to those who meet income criteria, but it will be awarded to people regardless of whether they own or rent single-family homes, mobile homes or apartments.

Renters must get permission from their landlords.

Mabile said her office is already receiving between 40 and 50 inquiries per day, but funds will continue to be allocated until they run out.

Home inspections, age of residents, and family size are things that will determine who receives the allocations.

Maximum income qualifications are: $22,980 a year for a one-person household, $31,020 a year for a two-person household, $39,060 a year for a three-person household, $47,100 a year for a four-person household, $55,140 a year for a five-person household, $63,180 a year for a six-person household, $71,220 a year for a seven-person household and $79,260 a year for an eight-person household.

To apply for the program call: (225) 389-3039, extension 123.

Editor’s note: This story was modified on Sept. 30, 2013, to correct an editing error. The maximum income qualification for a two-person household in $31,020, not $37,020. The Advocate regrets the error.