Harris to announce over $13 billion in assistance to help cut energy costs this winter

Vice President Kamala Harris will announce on Wednesday new measures the Biden administration will take to help lower energy costs for Americans this winter.

The US Department of Health and Human Services provides $4.5 billion in assistance to help reduce heating costs for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), according to the White House.

“In addition to covering home heating costs this winter and unpaid utility bills, the program will help families to make home energy improvements to lower their bills heating and cooling,” the White House said in a statement.

Last year, LIHEAP helped 5.3 million homes across the United States with heating, cooling and weatherization, according to the White House.

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The US Department of Energy will also allocate $9 billion in funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to support 1.6 million households across the country in improving their homes to reduce utility bills. This will be split into two rebate programs: one for whole home energy retrofits and one for essential home appliances and electronics, according to the White House.

“In addition to reducing costs, increasing energy efficiency and improving productivity can reduce indoor and outdoor pollution, improving health our communities,” the White House said. “Also, they will cut millions of greenhouse gas emissions each year to help tackle climate change.”

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Harris will discuss the jobs during a visit to a union office and a training facility in Boston on Wednesday, according to the White House.

Nearly half of US households rely on natural gas for heating and their bills could jump 28% this winter, compared to last winter, despite estimates bills for heating oil are 27% higher and electricity 10% higher, according to the latest analysis. the US Energy Information Administration, an independent agency within the US Department of Energy.

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The National Energy Assistance Directors Association, which represents LIHEAP state officials, said in a new report that energy prices are expected to be the highest this winter in more than a decade. This comes amid rising inflation, with US consumer prices rising to a 40-year high 6.6% in September.

There are some contributing factors, including a rebound in global energy use since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven up prices, and Russia’s war in Ukraine is likely to escalate further. measure costs and reduce supplies.

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