Biden administration announces initiatives to boost solar energy use
The Biden administration is announcing several initiatives aimed at boosting the deployment of solar energy.
A fact sheet from the administration framed the measure as a way to cut energy costs and create jobs — in addition to taking on climate change. It comes amid increasing pressure on the administration to further act on the issue after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) backed away from talks on legislation to fight climate change.
One of the initiatives, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would better enable people in government-assisted housing to access solar energy. It would do so by not counting their participation in solar programs that cut their energy bills against their income, which can determine their level of rent assistance.
A White House fact sheet said this would enable as many as 4.5 million families to get access to solar energy, which it said can save families an average of 10 percent annually on electricity.
The administration is also launching a pilot program in Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington, D.C., to make solar power that’s produced locally more accessible for low-income households. This program would connect households that get energy assistance from the federal government to this community solar.
The moves come as Democrats clamor for climate action after Manchin’s recent moves. Many have called for Biden to declare climate change a national emergency, but it’s not clear whether or when such a declaration will come.