Real World Economics / Better policies might benefit wind, ethanol
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#1 Nov 7, 2010
Weatherization Went Awry, Audit Shows
Money provided in the stimulus bill for making buildings more energy-efficient is finally starting to flow, the Department of Energy’s inspector general says. But in a report released Tuesday, his office says that in some cases it has been badly spent.
An audit by the inspector general focused on some work done by the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, one of 35 agencies in Illinois that are expected to share $91 million over three years. The audit looked at 15 homes and found that 12 failed final inspection “because of substandard workmanship.” In some cases, technicians who tuned up gas-fired heating systems did so improperly, so that they emitted carbon monoxide “at higher than acceptable levels.”
In eight cases, initial assessments of the houses and apartments called for “inappropriate weatherization measures.” In one case an inspector called for more attic insulation but ignored leaks in the roof, which would have ruined the insulation, the audit said. And for 10 homes,“contractors billed for labor charges that had not been incurred and for materials that had not been installed.’’ The stimulus bill, approved early last year, devoted $5 billion to weatherization. Illinois was allotted $242 million to spend over three years and planned to weatherize 27,000 homes. The group audited, known as CEDA, is supposed to spend $91 million on weatherizing 12,500 of those homes.
The federal audit said that Illinois had found a 62 percent error rate when it re-inspected homes weatherized by CEDA. And sometimes CEDA was spending more for materials than an individual homeowner would spend, the audit found. Some of the work created fire hazards, the audit said.
Phone calls to CEDA’s s president and its director of weatherization were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
62 percent error rate - "close enough for gubbamint work"!
#2 Nov 7, 2010
Also known as Keynesianism.
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