WASHINGTON - With bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Friday. The far-reaching legislation will aid America’s transition to using clean energy sources by cutting energy waste, modernizing the electrical grid to improve resiliency, and upgrading transmission lines.
The investments in energy efficiency and grid modernization total $73 billion and include, but are not limited to:
$3.5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, a fund that loans money to low-income households. Since its inception in the 1970s, the program has helped weatherize more than seven million homes in the United States.
$550 in block grants for state and local energy efficiency and conservation initiatives
$225 million in grants to implement building codes
A to-be-established $5 billion Department of Energy grant program to weatherize and harden the grid
$6 billion towards research for grid reliability and resiliency
$3 billion for a grant program for deploying technologies that will increase grid flexibility
$500 million for the State Energy Program, which supports planning for transmission and distribution
Legislators are also considering the Build Back Better Act through the budget reconciliation process. That bill includes provisions to update and extend clean energy tax incentives, which are a proven mechanism to accelerate the growth of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind. Paired together, the two pieces of legislation would accelerate wide-spread adoption of clean energy in America.
In response, Environment America’s Senior Director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Johanna Neumann, released the following statement:
“Congress’ action today places two key pieces into the puzzle of creating a cleaner, greener energy system for America. Slashing energy waste in buildings and getting our nation’s electricity grid ready for an influx of renewable energy are important pieces of our energy future. Coupled with the clean energy tax incentives proposed in the Build Back Better Act, a picture of America powered by clean renewable energy is coming clearly into focus.
“Clean renewable energy is ready to power our nation. The sooner America leans into renewable energy, the sooner our kids will have cleaner air to breathe and healthier communities to grow up in. We thank lawmakers for taking this important step and urge them to update and extend clean energy tax incentives so that we can see the United States powered by renewable energy in our lifetimes.”