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Mass. Still Taking Applications for Energy Efficiency Upgrade Program for Tornado Victims

Damage evident in Springfield on six-month anniversary of the June 1 2011 tornado
Damage evident in Springfield on six-month anniversary of the June 1 2011 tornado

State funding is still available to residents of Western Massachusetts who were hit by last year’s June tornado, who are looking to rebuild and renovate their homes, and make them more energy efficient. WAMC’s Lucas Willard has more…

The state-sponsored ReBuild Western Massachusetts program is designed to help victims of the June 1st, 2011 tornado rebuild their homes and businesses with some upgrades to help save energy.

The program is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, or DOER. Deputy Director of Energy Efficiency at the DOER Catherine O’Rourke, says that applicants can receive an  up to $100,000, 0% interest loan if prequalified to make efficiency upgrades.

Property owners in Hampden and Worcester Counties may apply for the program.

Peggy MacLeod, Outreach Specialist for the Center for EcoTechnology, says that her organization has been working with the state to coordinate Western Mass. residents with the program. She said that for many individuals affected by the tornado, their insurance would not cover the cost of upgrading their homes.

MacLeod said that reception of the program has been positive, and that many residents are glad to save money through the upgrades helped funded by the initiative.

The DOER says that the ReBuild Western Massachusetts program will also create local construction jobs, and ultimately save homeowners money.

Catherine O’Rourke is reminding eligible applicants that the deadline for the building improvement loans and grants is approaching this Fall.

O’Rourke also added that all construction must be completed by December 31st of this year and all completed paperwork must be submitted no later than January 31st, 2013.

Those with questions can call 877-524-1325.

More details: http://www.mass.gov/energy/rebuildwesternma

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.