Nearly one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to America’s 130 million homes and commercial buildings, which use 40% of the nation’s energy and 75% of its electricity.
The newly launched Affordable Home Energy Shot™, an initiative from the Department of Energy (DOE), is designed to address the persistent burdens faced by low-income households and communities of color. Nearly 1 in 4 households nationwide experience high energy burdens; as a result, more than 20% fell behind on their energy bills in 2022. These trends disproportionately impact lower income residents who live in older homes that often lack adequate insulation and energy-efficient appliances. Households who report some form of energy insecurity reside in homes that are nearly 20% less efficient.
This effort advances the Administration’s environmental justice and equity goals, including the Justice40 Initiative, by lowering the cost of energy-efficient retrofits and reducing overall energy costs and carbon intensity of homes across the U.S. The announcement is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s third Investing in America tour, where Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm visits Mercy Housing-Englewood Community Apartments.
“The windows, walls, and roofs that protect our families from the elements and keep us healthy and safe are some of the most effective tools we have to lower our utility bills fight climate change and advance environmental justice,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This Energy Earthshot, the Affordable Home Energy Shot™, will focus the Department’s research and development efforts on the most promising next-generation materials and technologies to make energy efficient home upgrades accessible to all.”
Energy Earthshots are the frontiers of the clean energy transition and areas where DOE has set bold goals to meet the biggest remaining research and development (R&D) challenges in next-generation clean energy technologies. The Affordable Home Energy Shot™ is the eighth and final DOE Energy Earthshot™, setting a target to reduce the cost of decarbonizing affordable homes by at least 50%, and decrease residents’ energy costs by at least 20% within 10 years.
This long-term R&D effort complements DOE’s existing investments in deploying cost-effective energy efficiency solutions. There is $13.5 billion available in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act investments for DOE programming to support household energy improvements, The Affordable Homes Energy Shot™ supports R&D to improve home energy-efficiency technologies within one decade. Together, these efforts will ensure that many households that have struggled to afford energy efficient retrofits will be able to benefit from these opportunities.
The Affordable Clean Homes Shot™ initiative is supported by several DOE offices, including the Office of the Under Secretary for Science and Innovation, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Building Technologies Office, the Office of State and Community Energy Programs, the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, the Federal Energy Management Program, the Office of Science, the Office of Policy, the Office of Technology Transitions, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.
To learn more, read the Affordable Home Energy Shot factsheet and visit the initiative’s website.