It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

Donate

It’s time for an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

President Biden and Congress must lead the charge to defeat the climate crisis and build a thriving, just and inclusive clean energy future. Join our work to help make it happen.

Clean Energy Is Cheap Energy

Here's why the clean energy investments in Build Back Better are the answer to Americans’ rising fossil fuel energy costs.

President Biden speaks at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado on September 14, 2021. © 2021 NREL/Flickr cc by NC-ND 2.0

Skyrocketing fossil fuel prices are putting a squeeze on Americans’ pocketbooks. Meanwhile, renewable energy sources have become “the world’s cheapest source of energy.” The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) projects that household heating costs this winter will go up by 54% for propane, 43% for home heating oil, 30% for fossil gas—and only 6% for electric heating. The simplest way to drive down energy costs for consumers is to make major investments in clean energy and electrification.

The Build Back Better Act (BBBA) will provide Americans relief from rising fossil fuel costs by driving an even faster transition to more affordable and reliable clean energy. The BBBA is poised to save households billions on home energy bills and protect families from the price shocks of volatile oil and gas markets. In conjunction with bold climate action from the Biden administration and subnational leaders, the BBBA can help unlock an average energy cost saving of $500/year for American households. 

The data is clear: accelerating the transition to clean energy is the best way to drive down prices and free consumers from the costly volatility of fossil fuel prices. And the BBBA is a powerful tool to ensure every American has access to reliable, affordable, clean energy. It’s time for the Senate to send it to President Biden’s desk.

Fossil Fuels: Volatile and Expensive

Oil and gas markets are unstable and particularly vulnerable to sudden changes in supply and demand. EIA figures show that over the last two decades, world crude oil prices have ranged between $20 and $140 per barrel. At times, the price swings have been violent and precipitous.

Blog Post Image

Sources: Bloomberg LP., Refinitiv An LSEG Business. Published by: U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Recent history reflects these trends. Liquefied natural gas is 10x more expensive than it was a year ago. Oil prices have leaped from -$40/barrel in April 2020 to over $80/barrel in October 2021 — a seven-year high. And when fossil fuel prices skyrocket, consumers are left holding the bag. 

Wind Turbine Image

Clean Electricity: Cheap and Getting Cheaper

While fossil fuel prices swing wildly, clean energy costs are stable and declining. Solar power is now the "cheapest electricity in history," and wind isn’t far behind — in 2018, the levelized cost of building new wind and solar capacity in the US fell below the cost of running existing coal plants. 

That clean energy revolution has been years in the making; over the same period of high variability in fossil fuel prices detailed above, clean energy prices consistently fell. Since 2010, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports that the cost of utility-scale solar power has plummeted 74% — a consistent downward trend averaging a 12% drop each year.


Blog Post Image

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Wind energy prices tell a similar story. From its peak of roughly $70/MWh in 2009, the cost of wind energy steadily dropped to nearly $10/MWh in 2018. No wild month-to-month spikes, no unpredictable shocks—just a consistent downward slope as manufacturing scaled and technology advanced.

Blog Post Image

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

A model from the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy found that consumers stand to benefit from this steady progress: wholesale electricity prices would be lower in 2035 with a 90% clean energy mix than they are today. The researchers state that “[l]ower wholesale costs would translate into lower retail electricity prices, assuming electricity distribution costs do not change significantly.” Observers expect long-term stability here; as one analyst put it, “The sun is going to keep shining, the wind is going to keep blowing." 

Residents of states that have implemented ambitious clean energy policies are already benefiting from the savings that come from the clean energy transition. For example, after Illinois established a renewable portfolio standard, the Illinois Power Authority found that utility bills declined as the share of renewables on the grid increased: for residential buyers, per-kilowatt-hour prices fell by 17% from 2009 to 2014. 


The Remedy To Rising Fossil Fuel Energy Costs? Pass The Build Back Better Act

The BBBA will build on the trend of declining costs by making clean energy even cheaper and more widely available. The bill makes unprecedented investments in America's clean energy future, including roughly $300 billion in clean energy tax credits,a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and a range of additional clean electricity investments that will subsidize and incentivize new clean electricity infrastructure, fund clean tech development, and more. The BBBA also includes billions of dollars directed towards home electrification and energy efficiency retrofits, which will help further drive down home heating bills. The investments in the BBBA are projected to save utility companies and customers across the country $9 billion each year by 2030. 

Protecting consumers from the price shocks of volatile fossil fuel markets and driving down energy costs overall is a kitchen table issue for millions of families across the country—and Democrats can deliver with the Build Back Better Act. The BBBA is a double win - helping American households save hundreds on their utility bills, and delivering on President Biden’s popular climate agenda. For our best chance at a thriving clean energy future, with reliable and affordable energy for everyone, Senate Democrats must swiftly deliver the BBBA to the president's desk.