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The White House will help Americans fight the heat and make their homes efficient: new programs

During an unbelievably hot summer, the Biden administration is launching new programs designed to help Americans cope with the intense heat and the accompanying increase in air conditioning prices, reports Yahoo.


On July 26, the federal government launched, a website that promotes planning and preparedness for extreme heat waves, which have become more frequent due to climate change.

The website is a public portal for the National Integrated Health Information System, a collaboration between several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It provides tools for following extreme heat guidelines and links to resources for local governments, such as the CDC's guide on how to set up a cooling center.

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As summer temperatures have risen steadily in recent decades, air conditioning costs have also skyrocketed. On July 27, with more than 44 million Americans living in areas under extreme heat warning, the White House announced a program of measures to cover these costs and develop alternative energy programs.

“The President since day one of this administration has been focused on both how we are adapting to the climate impacts we have caused and how we are helping Americans seize the opportunities that climate solutions represent, such as implementing clean energy,” said a senior administration official during a press briefing July 27 morning. “The focus of the American people is the heatwave that is affecting tens of millions.”

The three most significant programs, announced July 27, are designed to help low-income households and residents of affordable, federally subsidized housing.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is issuing new guidance that will not include utility loans in calculations of household income and utility benefits. This means low-income, federally subsidized families can subscribe to program for local community solar energy, where multiple households share the cost and savings of solar panels, even if they don't own property to host the panels. HUD estimates that this could help 4,5 million families save an average of 10% per year on their energy bills.

Separately, HUD will also launch an initiative to help small rural housing organizations improve energy efficiency.

The Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Washington, D.C. will launch Platform Public Solar Subscription, which will connect public solar panels to households that participate in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Last week, Biden announced that for the first time, LIHEAP members will be able to use program funds for air conditioning in the summer, and not just for heating in the winter.

As part of the package, the Department of Energy has unveiled steps to expand and diversify the solar panel manufacturing and installation workforce through apprenticeships and other programs learning.

Climate change is causing more frequent and stronger heatwaves this summer. At times in the past two months, up to 200 million Americans have been living on the advice during the heat wave. Last week, the cities of Arkansas, Missouri and Texas set new temperature records. During the simultaneous heat wave in Europe, more than 1700 people died of heat-related causes in Spain and Portugal.

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So far, average global temperatures have increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the period before the industrial revolution. This is due to an increase in the concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, mainly as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. Between 600 and 1300 Americans die each year from heat-related causes, according to the EPA. Without action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, this number is expected to rise sharply in the coming years.

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Miscellanea Educational program solar panels assistance program heat in the usa
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