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

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

According to the White House, the US Department of Health and Human Services is providing $4.5 billion in assistance to help lower heating costs for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

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

According to the White House, over the past year, LIHEAP has helped 5.3 million households across the United States with heating, cooling and refrigeration.

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The U.S. Department of Energy will also allocate $9 billion in funds from the Inflation Reduction Act to support up to 1.6 million households nationwide in improving their homes to lower their energy bills. That will be split into two rebate programs: one for whole-home energy efficiency retrofits and another for highly efficient and electrical appliances, according to the White House.

“In addition to reducing costs, improvements to energy-efficient buildings and electrical appliances can reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution, improving health in our communities,” the White House said. “In addition, they will reduce millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year to help tackle climate change.”

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According to the White House, Harris will discuss the initiatives while visiting a union hall and training facility in Boston on Wednesday.

Nearly half of American households rely on natural gas for heating and their bills could rise 28% this winter compared to last winter, while heating oil bills are projected to be 27% higher and electricity bills 10% higher. high, according to a recent analysis by the US Energy Information Administration, an independent agency within the US Department of Energy.

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

There are a number of contributing factors, including a rebound in global energy consumption since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has driven up prices, and Russia’s war in Ukraine further raising prices and reducing supplies.

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