Easing into winter: 5 resources to help you prepare for chillier climes

(Design: Joy Walstrum)

Nov 17, 2023

After years of mild Georgia winters, forecasters are projecting this upcoming winter will pack some chillier punches. 

Winter 2023-24 is expected to be wetter with more rain and snow in the southeast, including Georgia, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.  While the almanac’s 232nd edition  doesn’t expect a white Christmas in Georgia, it’s forecasting snow in late-January and mid-February. Georgia’s last recorded snowfall was Dec, 9, 2017, which left the state with about 1.5 inches of snow.

Here are five  resources you may not have known about that can help you, your family — and hey, even livestock — stay safe and warm this winter, which begins Dec. 21. If nothing else, it’ll help you get your home in tip top shape and shave a few dollars off of  your tax bill.

  1. The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority’s Weatherization Assistance Program cuts energy costs for low-income homeowners. It increases a home’s energy efficiency using whole house weatherization, which treats the dwelling as a single energy-consuming system rather than a loose collection of unrelated pieces of equipment. The state contracts with 14 community action agencies to provide energy -conservation measures and weatherization services to all 159 counties. To qualify, your household income can not be more than 200%  of the federal poverty level. Elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children are given preference. Single-family homes, manufactured homes and multifamily buildings are eligible. 
  1. Find out what the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency says you should have in your emergency readiness kit here.
  1. The federal Inflation Reduction Act provides over $200 million in rebate money  for Georgians to upgrade their homes with energy efficiency measures. Find out more about two rebate programs here. The Home Efficiency Rebates range from $2,000 to $4,000 for individual households and up to $400,000 for multifamily buildings for energy efficiency retrofits. Rebates depend on the amount of energy saved. 
  1. The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program aids eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish. It covers losses due to eligible adverse weather conditions. 
  1. Georgia homeowners can get a tax credit equal to 30% of installation costs for the highest-efficiency heating and cooling products. The tax credit has a maximum  limit of $600 for eligible air conditioners and furnaces, and up to $2,000 for qualified heat pumps. Find out more here. 

Have questions, comments or tips? Contact Tammy Joyner on X @lvjoyner or at [email protected].

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