Secretary of State Jennifer Granhom meets with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the State Department in Washington on February 7, 2022, with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borel Fontelles and European Energy Commissioner Qadri Simson.
Andrew Harnick | Pool | Reuters
The Biden administration on Wednesday announced new plans to spend $ 3.16 billion to rebuild thousands of homes in low-income areas, with the goal of reducing utility bills for Americans as well as making them more energy-efficient.
The investment comes from President Biden’s $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was signed into law last year. It will strengthen the federal government’s Weather Assistance Program, which is designed to upgrade homes by installing insulation, updating heating and cooling systems, and switching to new electrical appliances, among other things.
White House officials said during a press briefing Wednesday that the new funding would allow the program to recover about 450,000 homes, a large increase from the nearly 38,000 homes currently served each year.
“Home energy retrofits and upgrades – such as electrification, heat pumps, LED lighting, insulation, and sealing up leaks – can reduce monthly energy bills for households and improve the air we breathe,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granhome said in a statement.
“We will be able to help families in disadvantaged communities, reduce carbon emissions and create well-paying local jobs in every corner of America,” Granhome said.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that electricity generation from business and home represents about 13% of the country’s climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.
The fund will further Biden’s commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by the middle of the century. The program also implements the administration’s Justice40 commitment, which requires federal agencies to provide disadvantaged communities with at least 40% of their funding.
The weathering program began in the 1970s as an effort to reduce utility bills and, according to the Department of Energy, distributed an average of শক্তি 372 in annual energy savings for households.