The Biden-Harris administration is all set to provide over $13 billion in aid as a step to lower energy costs and help American households deal with the energy prices this winter. In a statement released by the White House on Wednesday, the US government said the initiative will help Americans cover heating costs and unpaid utility bills.
Vice President Kamala Harris plans to announce the new initiative while visiting a sheet metal workers’ training facility and union hall in Boston. The announcement reflects the intention of the Biden administration to reduce energy costs amidst the extreme shift in temperature due to climate change.
The White House said that “these steps will provide additional support for the low and moderate-income families and complement tax credits that families and building owners can use under the Inflation Reduction Act to install energy-saving equipment and to make building upgrades.”
Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the US Department of Energy announced nearly $9 billion in funding allocations for states. The new program funds can support up to 1.6 million households nationwide in upgrading homes and apartments to lower energy bills.
As a part of the initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services will be providing $4.5 billion in assistance to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The money will be provided to state, local and tribal governments to help families pay heating and utility bill costs.
In the statement, the White House stated that these programs will help families and states gain momentum towards deploying at least 12 million heat pumps by 2030. The Vice President has travelled the country to promote the "Inflation Reduction Act" and the administration is initiating to act or counter the hike in energy prices due to inflation.
The Biden administration announced these initiatives days before the US midterm elections which are going to be held on November 8. The move indicates the White House's objective to come up with more initiatives to help low-income and working families deal with inflation.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, an independent agency under the US Department of Energy, in its recent report, asserted that nearly half of the US households rely on natural gas for heating and their bills could jump to 28% this winter.
There are many factors that may have been responsible for such a hike. Climate change is leading to an extreme shift in temperature making it harder for Americans to bear the winters and the Russia-Ukraine war is causing further increasing prices while the supplies are depleting. The COVID-19 pandemic could be another major factor in the price spike.