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| 1 min read | By Lynne Beauchamp, lbeauchamp@thesuntimesnews.com |

Cold weather is just around the corner for Michigan residents and for many, that means finding ways to heat homes efficiently and economically.

For low-income Washtenaw County residents, a program is available to assist with weatherization of homes to help offset the cost of maintaining a warm place to reside.

While there are federally funded programs for weatherization across the states, low-income Washtenaw County residents can check their eligibility status through the county website. According to Peter Lindeman, Communication and Policy Specialist at the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), eligibility is determined based on household size and income. He added that these programs are designed to assist low-income households relative to the rest of the area. Additionally, individuals who have an income less than twice the poverty line in Washtenaw qualify for this program.  He added that OCED houses other home improvement projects that offer similar services that are open to individuals with slightly higher incomes.

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So, what is involved with the Washtenaw County Weatherization Program for low-income families?

“We perform a free energy audit on the home…and based on the results of the audit, we coordinate eligible repairs on the home that often include air sealing and insulation of attics and foundations, fresh air systems and repairs or replacement of furnaces,” Lindeman responded in an email.

Lindeman added that OCED works with licensed and approved local contractors to coordinate services.

While every home is different, Lindeman said households can expect to save around $300/year on their energy bills once the weatherization takes place.

For more information on the Washtenaw County Weatherization Program visit www.washtenaw.org/weatherization or call 734-544-3008.

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