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Mayor Bowser tries to defund help for low-income families to stabilize utility bills, improve indoor air quality

By taking funding meant for the Healthy Homes Act, Bowser is robbing DC households of the opportunity to stabilize their energy bills and adopt healthier homes

WASHINGTON, DC — Mayor Bowser unveiled her Fiscal Year 2025 budget proposing to defund a number of programs focused on increasing affordability in the District, including about $25 million of existing funding to help 30,000 low-income households stabilize their energy bills by upgrading their homes with clean, affordable, and efficient energy under the Healthy Homes Act

“Picking the pocket of low-income households to pay for downtown developers is no way to make a budget, let alone a moral budget. The DC Council passed this funding through the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund to pay for essential upgrades that will help retain Black homeownership and reduce energy burdens across the District. Taking this funding at the 11th hour will only push people out of DC once and for all,” said Pastor André Greene of Varick Memorial AME Zion Church and Washington Interfaith Network. “Mayor Bowser must restore this funding and the DC Council must pass the Healthy Homes Act.”

Last year, the DC Council passed a budget measure to set aside up to $25 million from the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund for home electrification and energy efficiency upgrades under the Healthy Homes Act. Today, one day after the DC Council voted unanimously for the Healthy Homes Act, Mayor Bowser proposed raiding that dedicated funding and using it for unrelated spending.

“Burning fossil fuels indoors pollutes our homes with nitrogen dioxide, soot, and more,” said Joelle Novey, Director of Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVa). “An extraordinary coalition of community groups have fought for the Healthy Homes Act because we understand that burning gas at home is harmful to all of us, especially the young and old. The mayor’s budget is bad news for everyone in the District who breathes air indoors, and a particular blow to the overburdened and underserved communities who would tangibly benefit from the Healthy Homes Act. We call on the DC Council to reverse this devastating budget cut.”

The Healthy Homes Act would build on a $2 million pilot awarded to the River Terrace and Deanwood neighborhoods to help residents retrofit their homes, including measures to increase energy efficiency and weatherization, and swap out gas appliances with electric alternatives such as heat pumps and induction stoves.

“Nearly three-quarters of DC’s climate pollution comes from buildings. To achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, the District must increase energy efficiency in our buildings and transition from fossil fuels like methane gas to affordable and efficient electric systems like heat pumps,” said Mark Rodeffer, the Sierra Club’s National Building Electrification Campaign Co-lead. “But today Mayor Bowser proposed to undermine her own climate commitments. The DC Council must restore funding to cut climate pollution while ensuring low-income households are able to enjoy the health and cost-saving benefits of moving off fossil fuels.”


Beyond Gas DC is a coalition of interfaith, housing, and climate advocates working to ensure that clean and affordable energy is available to all DC residents. We advocate for building electrification to lower household utility bills, improve indoor air quality and public health, and cut climate pollution.