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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration Awards First State Funding and Announces Progress on Historic $8.8 Billion Home Energy Rebate Programs to Lower Utility Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced it has approved New York’s funding application for the Inflation Reduction Act’s Home Energy Rebates and awarded the state an initial $158 million to implement its rebate program to help families save money on energy-efficient electric appliances. This is the first state to have its application approved and to receive funding under this program, which is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to lower home energy costs, tackle the climate crisis, and build a clean energy economy.  

DOE also announced that 11 other states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington—have submitted funding applications for the Home Energy Rebate programs. Collectively, the rebate programs, created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, provide $8.8 billion for states, territories, and Tribes to lower energy costs and increase efficiency in American homes by making it cheaper to install measures such as heat pumps, electrical panels, and insulation—saving consumers up to $1 billion annually in energy costs and supporting an estimated 50,000 U.S. jobs in residential construction, manufacturing, and other sectors.  

“Save energy and save money—that’s exactly what the Home Energy Rebate programs are designed to do”, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “I am excited to announce that states across the country are getting closer to putting money in the hands of consumers to upgrade their homes with new, energy efficient appliances and clean energy tools that will cut monthly utility costs.” 

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said, “New York is setting the pace in the transition to modern, affordable, and efficient homes. With this Inflation Reduction Act funding, we continue the transition to an affordable clean energy future that benefits all New Yorkers. We thank President Biden, Secretary Granholm and the New York Congressional Delegation for their support and are proud to partner with the Department of Energy to lead on this historic opportunity and build a healthier future for all New Yorkers.” 

“The bold and impactful Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates program, created by the historic Inflation Reduction Act, is a win-win-win that will save consumers money on energy bills, reduce pollution causing climate change, and advance environmental justice. This $158 million in federal funding will help low-income New Yorkers save on energy bills and reduce pollution by replacing dirty, inefficient appliances with modern cost-saving energy units,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (NY). “The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates program is another great example of the deeply impactful policies imbedded at the heart of the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce emissions while promoting environmental justice and spurring more investment in cleaner technologies. I am proud to deliver this funding and will continue fighting to lower pollution and save costs to lead New York to a healthier future.” 

“Clean energy and sustainable jobs are the key to a successful future and a strong economy. New York is at the forefront of the green economy, and this historic rebate program will help put money back in the pockets of working-class families, lower energy bills, create more resilient and energy efficient homes, and ensure that low-income New Yorkers have the resources they need to go green,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY). “I am proud to have helped secure the creation of this program through the Inflation Reduction Act, and I thank President Biden and Governor Hochul for prioritizing this once-in-a-generation investment in a sustainable and clean future.” 

Visit DOE’s Rebates Dashboard to track your state’s progress. 

Funded through DOE and administered by each state and territory, the Home Energy Rebate Programs include:  

  • The Home Efficiency Rebates Program offers $4.3 billion in formula grants to state and territorial energy offices to reduce the upfront cost of whole-home energy efficiency upgrades in single-family and multifamily homes. The value of an eligible home’s rebate depends on household income and the predicted energy savings attributable to the project.
  • The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates Program offers $4.275 billion in formula grants to state energy offices to reduce the upfront cost of efficient electric technologies such as heat pumps for heating and cooling and heat pump water heaters in single-family and multi-family homes. This program also provides $225 million in grants to Tribal nations and communities. 

Lowering Costs for America’s Working-Class Families and Enhancing Consumer Protection
Thanks to these programs, households across the country will benefit from free or reduced-cost clean energy upgrades for their homes. At least half of the rebates will go to low-income households, defined as those earning 80 percent or less of their area median income, ensuring ample support and funding goes to communities that are in the most need. 

Through the rebates, households can save up to $14,000 on home upgrades. Potential savings include up to:  

  • $8,000 off an ENERGY STAR-certified heat pump for space heating and cooling  
  • $4,000 off an electrical panel
  • $2,500 off electrical wiring 
  • $1,750 off an ENERGY STAR-certified heat pump water heater 
  • $1,600 for insulation, air sealing, and mechanical ventilation products 
  • $840 for an ENERGY STAR-certified electric heat pump clothes dryer and/or an electric stove, cooktop, range, or oven 

Statewide consumer protection plans will ensure consumers receive high-quality products and services. In these plans, which will be publicly accessible and include a customer hotline or email, states will set high standards for contractor and retail partners. States will ensure a robust process for consumer feedback, prompt attention to any customer concerns or complaints, and fair and transparent contracts with consumers for the rebate process. In February, DOE identified best practices for DOE and states to implement to ensure consumers are protected against unfair business practices or fraud under the rebate programs. In addition, DOE is developing a Consumer Bill of Rights that sets forth in plain language the rights and expectations for every customer in the program. 

New York First State to Receive Funding to Launch Rebates Program
On April 15th, DOE approved New York’s application for its Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates Program and the corresponding $158 million grant award. With this action, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is now able to take the final steps needed to launch the program for its residents. New York expects to launch its program in late spring or summer, initially to low-income New York State homeowners, and later expanding to reach all eligible residents.  

New York will submit its Home Efficiency Rebates application at a later date.  

DOE Conducts Outreach to States, Industry, Labor, and Contractors
As states move closer to launching their programs, DOE is ramping up its market engagement and consumer education efforts. A robust state energy office (SEO)-managed network of trained and certified contractors to support the purchase and installation of electrification projects eligible for rebates is critical in maximizing the success of the state-led rebates programs for American consumers.  

The Department has convened a series of webinars and stakeholder engagements with organizations representing contractors, appliance installers, labor unions, retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and more to spread awareness of the rebates, lower barriers for participation in the programs, and encourage their contractors to work closely with SEOs to become trained and certified.  

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the Training for Residential Energy Contractor (TREC) Program makes $200 million available to SEOs so they can train, test, and certify residential energy efficiency and electrification contractors. In March 2024, DOE announced up to $40 million in competitive grants through a Funding Announcement Opportunity.   

Earlier this year, in Madison, Wisconsin, Secretary Granholm hosted a roundtable discussion with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway to discuss with manufacturers, service providers, and labor leaders how they could best work together in partnership to support the state-led program.  

Wisconsin has employed a robust public engagement process to develop its application. In the coming weeks the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin will apply to DOE for more than $149 million in funding for consumer rebates and program administration.   

What’s Next?
DOE is now reviewing these states’ applications to ensure they meet DOE guidelines. Once DOE approves the applications and awards the states their funding, the states will complete steps to launch their respective programs and begin accepting rebate applications from consumers.  

Throughout 2023 and into 2024, DOE has provided states, territories and Tribes with guidance and technical assistance to apply for their funding and stand up their programs. View our resources to help states, territories, and Tribes apply for and design and implement their rebate programs. 

Save Money Now
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping homeowners act now to prepare for the rebates and save energy and money in the process:  

A professional home energy audit, which is often offered at a reduced cost through local utilities or state energy programs, helps homeowners figure out how much energy they use, where their homes are inefficient, and how to maximize savings and improve comfort. Many assessments are eligible for federal tax credits of 30 percent off the assessment cost (up to $150).  

Tax credits of 30 percent are also available for rooftop solar, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric upgrades, heat pumps, and other clean energy upgrades.  

For those who qualify, DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program provides free weatherization improvements and upgrades for households experiencing financial hardship.   

For more information, visit the Home Energy Rebates website and sign up for email updates.  

Official news published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-harris-administration-awards-first-state-funding-and-announces-progress-historic-88

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