White House Fact Sheet

President Obama Announces New Actions to Bring Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to Households across the Country

President Obama is committed to taking responsible steps to address climate change, promote clean energy and energy efficiency, drive innovation, and ensure a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations. That is why at Senator Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit later today, he is announcing a robust set of executive actions and private sector commitments to accelerate America’s transition to cleaner sources of energy and ways to cut energy waste.

These actions build on state leadership, all across America, to continue to expand opportunities to install energy saving technologies in households today, particularly those that need it most, while driving the development of innovative, low-cost clean energy technologies for tomorrow. Last year, the United States brought online as much solar energy every three weeks as it did in all of 2008, and the solar industry added jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. Since the beginning of 2010, the average cost of a solar electric system has dropped by 50 percent. In fact, distributed solar prices fell 10 to 20 percent in 2014 alone and currently 44 states have pricing structures that encourage increased penetration of distributed energy resources.

Americans are also more empowered to capture opportunities to improve efficiency and cut energy waste. In fact, up to one third of households can track their energy use and learn ways to make choices on how to save on their energy bills. Since President Obama took office, the U.S. Department of Energy has already put in place appliance efficiency standards that will save American consumers nearly $480 billion on their utility bills through 2030, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Program continues to help save consumers more than $34 billion per year going forward.

The executive actions and private sector commitments President Obama is announcing today will continue to promote the use and development of smart, simple, low-cost technologies to help households save on their energy bills and help America transition to cleaner, and more distributed energy resources. These include:

Today’s actions build on a longstanding commitment to create a clean energy economy for all Americans, will help states meet the targets in the Clean Power Plan announced earlier this month, and set us on a path to reach the President’s goals, including:

Executive Actions to Drive Clean Energy and Cut Energy Waste

To continue to reinforce American leadership in deploying clean energy and cutting energy waste while creating jobs and reducing carbon pollution, the Administration is announcing the following actions:

Making $1 Billion in Additional Loan Guarantee Authority Available and Announcing New Guidelines for Distributed Energy Projects Utilizing Innovative Technology: Distributed Energy Projects are currently driving innovation and transforming U.S. energy markets. Technologies such as rooftop solar, energy storage, smart grid technology, and methane capture for oil and gas wells, solve key energy challenges. Catalyzing these technologies and demonstrating the viability of these markets would create economic opportunity, strengthen energy security, transform certain energy markets, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To accelerate the pace of innovation in distributed energy, the Department of Energy is:

Announcing New Programs to Accelerate the Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies Available Today: For more than 80 years, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has provided low-income households and underserved communities access to safe and affordable mortgage credit. And with today’s announcement, FHA will provide additional opportunities for borrowers with FHA insured loans to benefit from affordable financing of home energy improvements, saving them money, and improving the environment. Today more than 7.6 million households in the U.S. live in FHA-insured single family housing. To accelerate this transition and drive the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in single family housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking the following actions:

DOD Privatized Housing Solar Challenge: Approximately 72 MWs of solar energy producing infrastructure has been installed on over 60,000 Department of Defense (DOD) privatized housing units to date. To amplify this progress, earlier this summer, DOD and the White House Council on Environmental Quality convened the companies that own the privatized housing units to share best practices and encourage them to set goals for increasing the amount of solar energy generated on privatized military housing through the end of 2016.

Pushing the Bar on Low-Cost Solar Technology: The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)’s Micro-scale Optimized Solar-cell Arrays with Integrated Concentration (MOSAIC) Program is announcing $24 million for 11 projects in seven states across the country to develop innovative solar technologies to double the amount of energy each solar panel can produce from the sun, while reducing costs and the space required to generate solar energy.

Approving a New Transmission Line to Deploy Solar Energy:Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the Blythe Mesa Solar project in California and its transmission line that will support bringing online the 485-megawatt photovoltaic facility that will be constructed in Riverside County and produce enough renewable energy to power more than 145,000 homes in California.

Creating an Interagency Task Force to Promote a Clean Energy Future for All Americans: Building on the Administration’s initiative to increase access to solar energy for all Americans, and recognizing the importance of ensuring that the communities most likely to be impacted by climate change must also share in the benefits a clean energy future, today, President Obama is creating an Interagency Task Force to Promote a Clean Energy Future for All Americans, that will work in partnership with states and community organizations to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency and scale up the deployment renewable energy in low- and moderate- income communities. The Task Force, whose participants include the Executive Office of the President, DOE, EPA, HUD, USDA, DOL, and Treasury, will work to enhance this shared goal through three key mechanisms:

The expanded EnergyShare will be a collaborative model for how utilities can work with state agencies and non-profits to provide sustainable savings for those facing financial hardships through a combination of energy assistance and energy efficiency.