Rota resident Milagro Manglona became the first beneficiary of the Rota Weatherization Assistance Program under the CNMI Division of Energy.
An income-based program that is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, WAP aims to help qualified residents reduce their energy consumption with the use of energy efficient appliances.
Manglona's residence was weatherized on Tuesday with the replacement of all incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, installation of smoke alarms, and the weather stripping of doors and windows.
The Rota resident also got an 18 cubic feet refrigerator and two 6,000 BTU window-type air conditioners.
“My previous aircon was not working efficiently and I had to use a fan to help cool the room but last night I slept so well since it was so cold that I didn't want to get up,” said Manglona.
She expressed appreciation to the U.S. Department of Energy program and the staff of Energy Division that made the weatherization of her house possible.
Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola, who was present during the presentation of appliances, congratulated Manglona for being the program's first recipient on Rota and thanked the Energy Division for including Rota in the WAP.
“I encourage all the people of Rota who meet the 'low income' criteria to avail of this important program, as the replacement of the new appliances will help reduce energy consumption within households,” he said.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial expressed his continued support for the timely implementation of available programs under ARRA to ensure that CNMI residents can avail of its various benefits.
“I am proud of the strides that the [Energy Division] has made with bringing the variety of programs to our entire community. I continue to push those involved to be vigilant in ensuring that the residents of Tinian and Rota avail of these programs,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Eloy Inos said the weatherization project underscores the commitment of the local government in bringing ARRA benefits to the community.
“With programs and projects aimed at helping our residents, government, the CUC, and schools, I look forward to many more of these types of milestones,” added Inos.
Energy Division director Thelma Inos said she is pleased that their office is making progress on Rota.
She thanked the Rota mayor, Tom Glenn Quitugua, and Donna Barcinas of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Energy Division program manager Lorraine Seman and staff Eugene Borja and James Reyes for their support and assistance.
Inos gave credit to the CNMI ARRA office under the leadership of former Commerce secretary Michael Ada whom she said was instrumental in keeping the $18 million State Energy Program funding.
“While I am humbled that we were acknowledged by U.S. Department of Energy for our efforts, we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” she added.