DOE’s Home Energy Rebates Program: What You Need To Know
Supporting energy efficient measures and electrification strategies in homes nationwide is a crucial component of America’s decarbonization strategy. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Energy Rebate Program is one example of how policies aimed at reducing home energy consumption can spark change.
Residential and commercial buildings burn fossil fuels for heat, use greenhouse gases for refrigeration and cooling, and generate emissions from other sources. In total, this accounts for about 13 percent of total US greenhouse gas emissions. Supporting energy efficient measures and electrification strategies in homes nationwide is a crucial component of America’s decarbonization strategy. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Home Energy Rebate Program is one example of how policies aimed at reducing home energy consumption can spark change.
What is the Home Energy Rebates Program?
In 2022, the Biden Administration made $391B available to support clean energy and climate change initiatives through the Inflation Reduction Act, $8.8B of which was allocated to energy-saving retrofits and electrification projects in single-family and multi-family buildings. This segment of funding, called the Home Energy Rebates Program, is a set of programs aiming to help American households reduce their energy bills, upgrade appliances and equipment, and support air quality to protect human health.
Program funding is allocated to homeowners by governance in their home’s jurisdiction (i.e., state, territory, or tribe). The two main sources are the Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole House Rebates (HOMES) program and High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program (HEEHRA).
How Can Funding Be Used?
According to the DOE, 99% of households in the US would benefit greatly from home energy savings rebates. Fossil-fueled or inefficient heating and cooling systems, weak insulation, and old construction (i.e., predating 1980) result in high energy usage and costs that can be addressed through these programs.
- The HOMES rebate program includes more than $4B in incentives for whole home energy efficiency retrofits. Individual applicants can receive up to $8,000 for upgrades that reduce energy usage by 20–35%, with income limits and varying eligibility criteria by state.
- The HEEHRA program offers point-of-sale rebates for specific equipment upgrades and home electrification projects, up to $14,000 in total, for low- and moderate-income households. Qualified projects include heat pump HVAC systems, water heaters, and clothes dryers, as well as electric stoves and cooktops.
How Will the Program Impact Commercial and Utilities Markets?
While these programs are reserved for the residential sector, their technological and workforce advancements can inspire and inform commercial, industrial, and utilities clients. For instance, the DOE recently announced updated efficiency standards for residential refrigerators and freezers. They propose to enforce these standards for commercial fans and blowers, as well, in an effort to further decrease emissions from appliances.
Seeking Support with Funding?
If you are a state energy official seeking assistance to apply for Home Energy Rebates Program funding, our energy solutions team at APTIM is here to help. Our in-house experts in grants management, energy efficiency program administration, and decarbonization strategies will ensure your application process is timely and compliant.
If you are a commercial or energy client seeking assistance with energy efficiency, electrification, or decarbonization, contact us here.
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