June 8, 2009
The federal government is spending $5 billion in stimulus money to weatherize homes across the country. That is almost as much as it has spent on weatherization since the program was created in the 1970s to cut heating bills and conserve oil for low-income people.
An unusually large share of the money will be spent not on keeping cold air out but on keeping cold air in. Many environmentalists say cutting electricity use for cooling is just as worthwhile as reducing the use of oil or gas for heating. But there are substantial questions about whether it is the most efficient way to save energy.