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Thursday, November 30, 2023

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As climate change conference opens, one CA city takes action; Israel and Hamas extend Gaza truce by one day in a last-minute deal; WV could lose hundreds of millions in Medicaid funding.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

CA to Get $582 Million to Make Homes More Energy Efficient

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Tuesday, August 1, 2023   

Starting next year, low and middle-income families in California are expected to be able to apply for up to $14,000 in grants and rebates to make their home more energy-efficient. The U.S. Department of Energy has just released guidelines that allow California to receive $582-million from President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act.

Melissa Yu, senior energy campaigns representative for the Sierra Club in the San Francisco Bay Area, said families will get big discounts on electric heat pumps, water heaters, stoves, and dryers.

"Especially for households with lower incomes, up to 100% of the appliance and the installation costs are going to be discounted at purchase, " she explained.

Rebates will also cover upgrades to your breaker box, electric wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, and insulation. The California Energy Commission is expected to move quickly and open up applications early next year. The idea is to reduce indoor air pollution from gas appliances, which contribute to premature death and bronchitis.

Yu said everyone needs to switch from gas-burning appliances to models that run on electricity generated from renewable sources like solar and wind.

"In California, homes and buildings are roughly responsible for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions," she explained. "The more we're putting out all of these polluting appliances, the more we're going to exacerbate the issue."

Just over 40% of California's energy still comes from fossil fuels like oil and gas that spew carbon emissions and drive climate change, which is linked to the fires, drought and floods that have ravaged the state. Energy efficiency upgrades can provide greater climate resilience against extreme heat and cold snaps, wildfire smoke and air pollution.

Disclosure: Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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