New effort works to help low-income families with energy costs

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Ninety families in Memphis and Shelby County could have their homes weatherized this year, thanks to a new $1.5 million grant program.

The city of Memphis made the announcement earlier this week.

It's a partnership with the United States Department of Energy, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency, and the Division of Housing and Community Development.

The effort is aimed at cutting the percentage low-income residents pay for energy costs.

"Some of the things that are included in weatherizing a home could be duct insulation as well as attic insulation possibly windows HVAC units are looked at as a health and safety measure," said Chad Bowman, Weather Assistance Program Manager.

Memphis' energy burden is among the highest in the nation.

Leaders say the percentage of residents' income paid toward utility costs should be roughly four percent, but in the Bluff City, that figure is about 13 percent.

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