Biden administration is offering over $13 billion in assist to assist American households minimize vitality payments
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivers a speech at the annual Freedman’s Bank Forum at the Treasury Department in Washington, October 4, 2022.
Michael A McCoy | Reuters
The Biden administration is providing over $13 billion in aid to help low- and middle-income Americans reduce their energy bills, including grants to pay utility bills and other incentives to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.
Vice President Kamala Harris plans to announce the new initiative while visiting a sheet metal training facility and union hall in Boston later Wednesday, a senior administration official told reporters in a call Tuesday. The announcement reflects the government’s efforts to reduce energy costs in the face of extreme temperature swings due to climate change.
As part of the initiative, the Department of Health and Human Services will release $4.5 billion in funds for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps pay for utility bills and energy-related home repairs for families. The amount will include $100 million from President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill and $1 billion in emergency funding the government requested earlier this year, the official said.
“We know that winter heating costs make up the majority of the energy needs of low-income households. Therefore, it is imperative that funds reach households in the most efficient and effective way possible,” the official said.
The Biden administration will also allocate approximately $9 billion to help low- and middle-income families reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient.
The funding will help up to 1.6 million homes, including the installation of 500,000 heat pumps.
Under the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, an estimated 700,000 homes will be weatherproofed under the revised Weatherization Assistance Program, putting the administration on track to meet its goal of weatherproofing 2 million homes, the White House said.
“Collectively, these programs will make these cost-saving upgrades more accessible to low- and middle-income families as states gain momentum to deploy at least 12 million heat pumps by 2030,” the White House said in a statement.
Harris has been touring the country in recent months to promote the government’s economic priorities under the Inflation Reduction Act. More than $300 million from the initiative will be invested in the state of Massachusetts.