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UGA grant could help cut energy bills, create jobs
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ATHENS — A $1.3 million stimulus grant to University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences will help Georgians reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint and create jobs in Georgia.  

Jorge H. Atiles, extension professor of housing and associate dean in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, was awarded the grant from the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, the state entity managing the federal stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy for the Georgia Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program.

Weatherization assistance is provided directly by Community Action agencies and similar energy assistance agencies in the state to reduce infiltration in homes and improve energy performance in homes of limited–income households. The $1.3 million grant will fund the first seven months of a UGA Cooperative Extension program that will monitor weatherization activities and provide energy conservation education to Georgians receiving weatherization assistance throughout the state.

Atiles said this grant will create a sustainable weatherization program that aims at ensuring that after homes are weatherized, their occupants will be in the best position to realize energy savings and reduce their carbon footprint. The project will help Georgians meet the Governor’s Energy Challenge to reduce energy bills by 15 percent by 2020.

The current contract is eligible for an additional two-year renewal that could exceed $4.5 million in funding for this sustainable weatherization monitoring and education program.