Biden doubles down on solar energy to tame electricity costs

President Biden is betting on solar power to combat electricity bills for low-income Americans doubling down on his administration’s hardline green agenda as critics sound the alarm over skyrocketing energy costs.

On Wednesday the White House announced new measures aimed at getting American homes plugged into solar power and creating new clean energy jobs, including new Department of Housing and Urban Development guidance that will enable federally-assisted renters to subscribe to the community solar where available.

The administration says the program will save as many as 4.5 million families an average of 10% per year on electricity.

“Front of mind for the American people is the extreme heat that tens of millions of Americans are living with,” an administration official said, adding that the programs announced Wednesday are intended to “meet the American people where they are to help expand the affordability and accessibility of green energy and solar.”

The White House also announced that five states — Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York, as well as the District of Columbia — have signed up for a Department of Energy and Health and Human Services “Community Solar Subscription Platform” designed to connect low-income housing in the states to community solar projects.

The program is expected to save Washington households more than $1 billion annually in combined electricity bill savings, according to administration figures.

Mr. Biden is also rolling out new programs aimed at “creating clean energy jobs,” including $10 billion in funding under the investment spending bill signed into law last November aimed at expanding union participation in the solar industry.

“This funding will help to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of solar jobs that will be created over the next decade will be accessible to workers from all backgrounds, provide competitive wages and benefits, and offer opportunities for union membership,” the White House said in a statement announcing the new measure.

Critics have thrashed Mr. Biden’s unbowed determination to usher in a green agenda that disincentivizes investment in legacy energy infrastructure despite skyrocketing energy costs draining Americans’ pocketbooks.

But administration officials said the president has no intention of backing down.

“The president has been clear that when he’s focused on clean energy and climate, he’s really looking to win the whole finish line,” the official said. “And that means a laser focus on greenhouse gas, a laser focus on gigawatts environmental but also a focus on justice.”

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