• Business Business

Biden administration makes major energy move for nearly 1M US households: 'One of the best ways to lower energy costs for American families'

"It's great to see President Biden jumpstart this landmark program."

"It's great to see President Biden jumpstart this landmark program."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Biden administration greenlit a game-changing solar program as part of Earth Day celebrations in April.

In a statement, the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that $7 billion in grants would be allocated to 60 organizations to provide low-cost clean energy to low-income and disadvantaged communities. 

The funds — made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — are part of the Solar for All program and are expected to make solar energy available to more than 900,000 households. 

"These targeted investments mean low-income families get clean energy that is affordable, resilient, and protects our ecosystems. It's great to see President [Joe] Biden jumpstart this landmark program," Center for Biological Diversity energy justice program director Jean Su told the Guardian. 

According to the news outlet, hundreds of thousands of low-income families are spending as much as 30% of their incomes on energy needs. 

While solar power saves people money on electric bills, the upfront cost of the panels has prevented some people from reaping those benefits, even with the tax incentives from the IRA.  

"Solar is the cheapest form of electricity — and one of the best ways to lower energy costs for American families," John Podesta, senior advisor to the President for international climate policy, said in the EPA press release. "Today's announcement … will mean that low-income communities, and not just well-off communities, will feel the cost-saving benefits." 

In addition to saving overburdened households a combined $350 million every year, the $7 billion investment is projected to create 200,000 jobs nationwide, according to the EPA press release

The projects will also help eliminate more than 33 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent pollution over a five-year span. 

Historically, low-income neighborhoods have been disproportionately impacted by pollution linked to health issues like asthma. Additionally, researchers have found that vulnerable communities are left in the dark longer after extreme weather events that cause potentially life-threatening power outages. 

"Residential solar electricity leads to … reduced levels of air pollution in neighborhoods, and ultimately healthier communities, but too often low-income and disadvantaged communities have been left out," U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman said in the EPA release. 

"HUD is honored to have played a key role in today's monumental announcement, which will provide meaningful household savings … reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs, and deliver electricity during grid outages for low-income households," Todman added

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider