Last week, the Biden administration promised $100 million in new funding to enhance the energy efficiency of low-income homes in the United States.
Additionally, the administration began receiving bids for a new credit program. The program aims to make it more affordable for low-income communities to install small-scale solar and wind projects.
According to The Verge, both initiatives are financed through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
In many cases, new energy-saving technologies like heat pumps and solar panels come with high initial costs, making them inaccessible for low-income households. The new programs aim to address this disparity by providing property owners and developers with incentives to facilitate the adoption of these sustainable technologies in their homes.
The $100 million will be used to transform 1,500 homes into “zero energy” homes. The money will be distributed as both loans and grants.
According to the Department of Energy, a zero energy-ready home is one that is exceptionally energy efficient and can offset its annual energy consumption through renewable energy systems.
Awardees will have the opportunity to utilize the funds to install solar panels or improve their roofing insulation, among other upgrades. They will also be required to meet certain sustainability certifications such as LEED certification.
Adrianne Todman, the deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, expressed her belief that this initiative will propel housing from the 1970s into the present century.
The new credit program for small-scale solar and wind projects is called the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program. This initiative is anticipated to generate 1.8 gigawatts of clean energy investments annually in underserved areas.
The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit increases the tax credit for solar and wind installations in low-income communities by as much as 20 percentage points. The credit is intended to complement the existing Investment Tax Credit for clean energy initiatives.
As Biden expands IRA benefits for low-income people, renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular across the political divide.
A June study from Pew Research found that 67% of Republicans support tax credits for carbon capture businesses. A further 70% of Republicans support installing additional solar farms. Renewable energy is even more popular among Democrats.
Image Source: President Biden, https://shorturl.at/bEV19