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U.S. Cabinet secretaries visit weatherized property in Baltimore

Granholm and Fudge toured this weatherized property and met with one of the residents. Credit: Sarah Y. Kim/WYPR

The U.S. secretaries of energy and housing and urban development, Jennifer Granholm and Marcia Fudge, were in Baltimore Wednesday to talk about weatherized housing.

They toured a Baltimore Civic Works weatherization job training facility and a weatherized housing unit.

“The great thing about weatherization is that it puts people to work,” Granholm said. “It saves people money, and it helps the planet.”

Sealed off from winter drafts and summer heat, weatherized housing units use up less heating and cooling. Because these units are more energy efficient, residents who live in them can save as much as 30% on monthly energy bills, Granholm said.

“The cheapest form of energy is the energy you don't use,” she said. “That's energy we don't have to generate and that helps to reduce carbon pollution for the residents and for the planet.”

The Department of Energy had announcedearlier Wednesday an additional $18.6 million funding to expand the country’s Weatherization Assistance Program.

Congressman Kweisi Mfume, along with Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, joined the secretaries at the housing unit.

“This is a great day,” Mfume said. “We in Baltimore are going to be competitively going after and seeking to win a number of those grants.”

The mayor thanked Granholm and Fudge, saying weatherization would help the country “build back better.”

“This is what this is about. Making sure that we build our neighborhoods and people in a way that we have never had before,” Scott said.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.