Energy accessibility is the idea that all Americans should be able to obtain clean power from affordable, reliable, and sustainable sources. Energy affordability is the idea that consumers should be able to pay for their home electricity use—lighting, heating, cooling, powering appliances—while also paying for other basic living expenses, such as food and medication, without having to choose or feel overburdened.
The federal government is taking steps to increase energy accessibility and affordability for all Americans by making once-in-a-generation investments through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) funds research and development to drive down the costs of clean energy and improve energy efficiency across technologies to ensure all Americans have access to and can afford renewable power.
Equity Is Key to Energy Accessibility and Affordability
The clean energy transition requires a focus on energy equity to improve energy accessibility and affordability. Energy equity recognizes that disadvantaged communities have been systematically marginalized and overburdened by pollution, underinvestment in clean energy infrastructure, and lack of access to energy-efficient housing and transportation.
Forty-four percent of Americans, or about 50 million people, qualify as low-income and have a disproportionately high energy burden; this means the percentage of gross household income they spend on energy is three times higher than it is for non-low-income Americans. This disparity stands in the way of nationwide energy accessibility and affordability.
To lower energy costs, consumers can improve energy efficiency at home and in buildings. Energy-efficient and electric building and appliance upgrades can also reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution, improving health in communities and cutting millions of tons of greenhouse-gas emissions every year.
Learn about EERE's Work to Improve Energy Affordability and Accessibility:
How to Get Affordable Clean Energy
You can get easier access to affordable clean energy through federal and state tax credits and incentives. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act also provides a 10-year extension and expansion of tax credits for clean power, which includes reducing energy costs for Americans through:
- Tax credits of up to $7,500 and $4,000 for buyers of new and used electric vehicles, respectively
- Tax credits and rebates for energy-efficient home upgrades, such as heat pumps, rooftop solar, and insulation.
Learn more about benefits to help save money on energy:
Energy Affordability and Accessibility News
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