Weatherization program buys $1.50 bulbs for $27

December 28, 2010 07:42

Millions wasted in New Jersey alone. State senator Buono (D) wants hearings on overcharges like a $27  light bulb.

By: Cheryl K. Chumley at The Heartland Institute


“This program has been fraught with problems for a long time,” Buono told “Now that there’s an infusion of funds, it’s important that we take a second look at it.

One question Buono says she wants answered in her hearings is why the state has spent more than $1 million of the federal dollars to train 225 people to work in the home weatherization field but only seven have actually found jobs. Another question: Why is the state paying $27 for light bulbs that cost $1.50?

A recent state audit uncovered this charge, along with others deemed similarly unreasonable.

Of $613,600 charges from contractors who were paid with weatherization funds, only $54,000— just under 9 percent—were rated as reasonable by the state auditor. In addition to $27 light bulbs, the auditor found charges of $75 for carbon-monoxide detectors that actually cost $22, and $1,499 for two GPS systems that should have cost a total of $400.


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