National

Mar 27, 2010 1:20 PM by Associated Press

Weatherizing program slow to start

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.

It has retrofitted a little more than 30,000 homes, about 5 percent of the overall goal, and fallen well short of the 87,000 jobs that the department planned.

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's created 84 jobs in a state with nearly 37 million residents.

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

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