Those are two primary goals of President Joe Biden’s Energy Earthshots Initiative, and it’s backed by billions of dollars in government funding, according to a report on the effort by Grist.
The plan, spelled out by the U.S. Department of Energy, could result in big savings during your next home improvement project. Helping homeowners afford energy-efficient upgrades is the last “shot” on the point-by-point objective list, and the government plans to reduce the cost of those improvements by 50% within 10 years.
One goal, for example, is to reduce the cost of geothermal heat systems by 90% by 2035. Geothermal systems use natural heat in the ground to regulate a building’s temperature.
“Every American deserves to live in a home with affordable, clean, reliable power,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in remarks quoted in the Grist story.
The effort is backed by at least $13.5 billion in government funding, specifically targeted to lower-income households. The plan is to help those homeowners (earning less than 80% of their area’s median income) “retrofit” their homes with cleaner energy, including simply better insulation.
”We know that we have to drive down the costs, and make energy more affordable,” Ram Narayanamurthy, DOE deputy director of the building technologies office, said.
Accessibility to clean energy solutions is crucially important for the planet’s health. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that residential energy use produces about 20% of the country’s heat-trapping air pollution.
The repercussions are being recorded by rising mercury in thermometers on land and in the sea, as heat records are being crushed around the globe, with terrible consequences.
That’s part of the reason why energy officials want the country to reach its “net-zero” goals by 2050, creating a clean-energy economy that increases the number of jobs in the sector, per the DOE.
“It’s really about pushing the innovation forward with new materials [and] new technology in a way that can bring down the cost of what’s currently needed to decarbonize homes,” Jennifer Arrigo, another DOE official, said in the Grist report.
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