Federal Weatherization Program Off To Slow Start

FRESNO, Calif. (March 27, 2010)--President Barack Obama's program to install weather-tight windows and doors is off to a slow start.

After a year, the $5 billion program has retrofitted a fraction of the homes expected and created far fewer construction jobs than anticipated.

A little more than 30,000 homes have been weatherized, which is about 5 percent of the program’s goal, and job creation has fallen well short of the 87,000 officials anticipated.

An Associated Press review found the program has been slowed by government rules and bureaucratic delays, as well as such questions as how much to pay contractors and how to protect historic homes during renovations.

In Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program has yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home.

In California, it has created 84 jobs in a state with nearly 37 million residents.

The Energy Department predicts the number of jobs created and homes completed will rise quickly as the program emerges from its startup phase.

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