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President Obama Announces Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative

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US President Barack Obama has announced the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative, which intends to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the country, particularly in low- and moderate-income families.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative, which is a cross-government partnership between the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran’s Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The “new catalytic goal” will aim to bring 1 GW of solar to low- and moderate-income families by 2020, a 10-fold increase and expansion of an initial target set by the President in his Climate Action Plan to install 100 MW of renewable energy on federally-assisted affordable housing by 2020.

“We generate over 30 times more solar power than we did just eight years ago,” said President Obama in a White House video that accompanied the announcement. “Since I took office, we’ve cut the cost of solar energy systems more than 70%. The solar industry is adding jobs at twelve times faster than the rest of the economy. Solar panels are no longer for the wealthy folks who live where the sun shines every day, they’re already a reality for Americans and communities all across the country.”

“We applaud the administration for its continued commitment to expanding access to clean, affordable, reliable electricity,” said Tom Kimbis, interim president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, in response to the announcement. “For Americans looking to reduce their monthly utility bills and gain more independence in their energy generation, today’s announcement is truly empowering. The industry also recognizes the efforts to cut red tape, as one of SEIA’s top goals is breaking down market barriers to solar market penetration.”

According to a White House Fact Sheet published this week, “The Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative will help achieve the goal by promoting innovative financing mechanisms, bolstering technical assistance for states and communities, driving innovation, scaling up workforce training to make sure low- and moderate-income Americans can take advantage of the jobs that come with a transition to clean energy, convening stakeholders, and working with the private and philanthropic sectors.”

Detailed information about the key components of the initiative and Executive Actions intended to scale up solar can be found here.

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