• 63°

OCAP gets stimulus funding

This week, Gov. Bob Riley awarded $9.26 million, including $4.86 million in federal stimulus funds, to the Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program to help low-income residents cut their utility bills by making their homes more efficient.

The Organized Comm-unity Action Program (OCAP), which serves Covington and 11 other counties, received $884,000. The Alabama Weatherization Assistance Program, administered locally through OCAP, helps provide funds for low-income homeowners to modify their buildings to improve both energy efficiency and safety.

“This program is a great benefit to any community, and here in Covington County we’re excited and thankful for this award,” said Elizabeth Seay, OCAP coordinator.

Families with gross income of 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less are eligible to apply — the cap for a family of four is no more than $44,100 a year and the cap for a family of two is $29,140.

Families who qualify will have their homes undergo an energy audit. Based on the result of that audit, a home weatherization project could include extra insulation for the attic, walls and floor, sealing leaks in ductwork, repairs and tune-ups for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, or replacing incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

“If your home needs to be improved, I urge you to apply,” Seay said. “So many families in Covington County can benefit from this program, because of the extra money from the stimulus funding.

“With energy costs so high, if you can save $10 on your power bill, that’s $10 more in your pocket. And we all know that every penny counts.”

Seay said those who apply for the program should bring a copy of their property deed, proof of income for the household and Social Security cards. To apply, call 334-566-1712.