Washington, D.C. — More than $8 billion in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act is available to states and Tribes to pass along to consumers for making energy-efficient upgrades such as installing electric heat pumps or electric appliances.
A new report from the Center for American Progress offers recommendations on how states can use the Inflation Reduction Act’s Home Electrification and Appliance Rebate program to help low-income residents and disadvantaged communities, which are among the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change and pollution.
“States and Tribes have the opportunity to really prioritize these energy savings for low- and moderate-income residents who cannot afford these upgrades on their own and are most vulnerable to power shut-offs and high energy burdens,” said Jasia Smith, a research associate for Domestic Climate Policy at CAP and author of the report. “Getting these rebates to consumers will play a key role in the push to electrify households and strengthen climate resilience across the United States.”
Among the recommendations, the report urges states to:
- Prioritize meeting 100 percent of funding costs for low-income households and stacking rebates for moderate-income households to avoid hidden costs.
- Centralize all rebate-related points of contact to ensure application accessibility and effective outreach.
- Centralize all rebate-related points of contact and merge consumer-facing programs between utilities and state energy offices to ensure application accessibility and maximize resident participation.
- Clarify to consumers that electrification rebates are not retroactive in order to avoid confusion and unexpected costs.
- Ensure adherence to Justice40 through a high volume of project delivery to low-income households.
- Consider quick-start programs or pilots of rebate programs.
- Fortify state community and workforce engagement through the U.S. Department of Energy’s State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants Program.
Read the report: “How States Can Equitably Deliver Home Electrification Rebates” by Jasia Smith
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