WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior announced the launch of a new program and availability of $72.5 million in initial funding through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help tribal communities electrify homes. The investment is a step toward the goal of electrifying all homes in Indian Country with renewable energy sources and advances the Biden-Harris administration’s work to reach a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035. The announcement comes as the Biden-Harris administration celebrates the one-year anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate investment in U.S. history.
The Investing in America agenda is deploying record investments to provide affordable high-speed internet, safer roads and bridges, modern wastewater and sanitations systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, and good paying jobs in every tribal community. The funding announcement is part of an overall $150 million investment from the Inflation Reduction Act to support the electrification of homes in tribal communities.
“Climate change is the crisis of our lifetimes and has left far too many communities managing for worsening water challenges, extreme heat, devastating wildfires and unprecedented storms,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. “Every action we take now to lessen the impacts for future generations is critical. Through President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are launching a new program to electrify Indian Country to provide reliable, resilient energy that tribes can rely on, and advance our work to tackle the climate crisis and build a clean energy future.”
“This funding from the President’s Investing in America agenda will bring electricity to homes in tribal communities that have never had it; it will have a fundamental and significant impact on businesses, communities and families,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “This is one of the many historic investments we are making to fund long-overdue infrastructure needs in Indigenous communities.”
Tribal nations across the country have their own unique energy and electrification-related needs and implementation capacity. The Tribal Electrification Program will meet the unique needs of individual tribal communities by supporting collaborative and community-led planning and implementation.
The program will provide financial and technical assistance to tribes to connect homes to transmission and distribution that is powered by renewable energy; provide electricity to unelectrified tribal homes through zero-emissions energy systems; transition electrified tribal homes to zero-emissions energy systems; and support associated home repairs and retrofitting necessary to install the zero-emissions energy systems.