The Biden administration on Wednesday announced $13 billion in funds to provide winter heating assistance for low-income Americans, including $4.5 billion through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

In addition to the LIHEAP funding, provided through the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House announced $9 billion in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds for energy efficiency upgrades to low-income households.

This includes enough funds to install 500,000 heat pumps and provide upgrades to 500,000 homes, according to a White House call with reporters Tuesday evening. The White House said this would include separate rebate programs for whole-home upgrades and appliances. White House officials said the initiatives are part of a broader goal to deploy at least 12 million heat pumps by the end of the decade.

Vice President Harris is set to formally announce the funds Wednesday in Boston, part of a broader trip through the U.S. seeking to tout the benefits of the IRA.

“As energy prices remain high, this Administration is working to cut costs for working families and businesses through historic investments for consumer rebates for more efficient home improvements and energy-efficient appliances nationwide,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said.

“President Biden’s agenda means states will have greater resources to meet their consumers’ needs and more rapidly achieve home electrification on the path to a net zero emissions economy.”

The administration has sought to head off a potential heating crisis in the coming winter months, the first winter since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threw energy markets into chaos.

In August, Granholm wrote to multiple U.S. oil refiners asking them to limit their exports, citing lower East Coast diesel inventories. The six governors of New England states, which are particularly reliant on home heating oil, wrote to Granholm this year requesting suspension of the Jones Act to allow the delivery of more liquefied natural gas to the region.  

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