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Biden announces new funding to make homes more energy efficient


Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm talks during a meeting at Washington’s State Department with Antony Blinken and Josep Borrell Fontelles (EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), and Kadri SIMSON, European Commissioner for Energy. This was on February 7, 2022.

Andrew Harnik | Pool | Reuters

The Biden administration on Wednesday announced new plans to spend $3.16 billion to retrofit hundreds of thousands of homes in low incomes areas, with the goal of making them more energy-efficient while also lowering utility bills for Americans.

It comes from the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was introduced by President Biden. signed into law last year. It will help to boost the Weatherization Assistance Program of the Federal Government, designed to renovate homes and install insulation, update heating and cooling systems, as well as switch to new electric appliances.

White House officials stated that new funding will enable the program to retrofit around 450,000 houses, an increase of the approximately 38,000 it currently serves every year.

“Home energy retrofits and upgrades – like electrification, heat pumps, LED lighting, insulation, and sealing up leaks – can slash monthly energy bills for families and improve the air we breathe,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Granholm declared, “We will have the ability to help households from disadvantaged communities, decrease carbon emissions, generate good-paying, local jobs in all corners of America.”

Electricity production from businesses and homes represents about 13% of the country’s climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Biden will be able to fulfill his pledge with the funding. slash emissions in half by 2030To achieve net-zero emission by the middle of this century. It also fulfills the Justice40 promise by the Obama administration, which stipulates that federal agencies must provide benefits of at least 40 percent from funding specifically to economically disadvantaged communities. 

According to the Energy Department, the weatherization program was started in 1970s to cut utility bills. Since then it has saved families an average $372 annually in energy costs.