U.S. Department of Energy

05/30/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/30/2024 04:05

Biden-Harris Administration Announces First State in Nation to Launch Historic Home Energy Rebates Program to Lower Families' Utility Bills

New York is First State to Get Rebates to Families Thanks to President Biden's Investing in America Agenda

QUEENS, N.Y.- As part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that New York is the first state in the nation to launch their Home Energy Rebates program, created by the Inflation Reduction Act. New York's program will allow more low-and-middle income families to take advantage of efficiency and clean energy upgrades that will make their homes more comfortable while saving money on their energy bills. New York's launch is part of a larger nationwide initiative to provide $8.8 billion in Federal funding for states, territories, and Tribes to lower energy costs and increase efficiency in American homes by making it cheaper to install cost-saving measures such as heat pumps, electrical panels, and insulation.

These energy saving measures will save consumers up to $1 billion annually in energy costs and support an estimated 50,000 U.S. jobs in residential construction, manufacturing, and other sectors. These investments also advance the President's Justice40 Initiative, which sets a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, and other investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.

"From tax credits to rebates, the Biden-Harris Administration is determined to lower costs for American families and change the economics of home energy bills, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "New York is leading the charge as states across the country gear up to launch their Home Energy Rebates program-delivering jobs, savings, and healthier homes."

"The Inflation Reduction Act's home energy rebates for clean and energy-efficient appliances and upgrades will save families money by lowering their energy bills," said John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy. "New York is leading the way as the first of several states that will make these game-changing incentives available to their residents this summer and fall."

"As the first state in the nation to offer these Inflation Reduction Act rebates, we are expanding access to home improvements that will save New Yorkers money on their energy bills and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels," New York Governor Kathy Hochul said. "Thanks to our strong partnership between New York State, the Biden Administration, and U.S. Department of Energy, we are making important progress to make the clean energy transition affordable for all New Yorkers."

Many Americans spend a large portion of their monthly income to heat, cool and power their homes- with some of the lowest-income families spending upwards of 30% of their income on energy bills. Overall, Americans can expect to save $1 billion in energy costs every year because of the Home Energy Rebates programs. Individual households could save hundreds on monthly energy bills and up to $14,000 for energy efficient home upgrades. To advance the objective of these programs, DOE is requiring that states and territories must allocate at least half of the rebates to low-income households, defined as those earning 80% or less of their area median income, which is expected to benefit many households in disadvantaged communities. States and territories must also submit Community Benefits Plans to ensure good jobs and other economic opportunities are available. To help keep consumers informed and equipped with resources, DOE recently released a Consumer Bill of Rights framework and is encouraging state, territorial and Tribal rebates programs to adopt it.

New York State's Home Energy Rebate Program
New York is launching the first phase of its $158 million Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) program - one of the two provisions making up the Home Energy Rebates programs - by weaving the funding through the state's existing EmPower+ program, which serves homeowners and renters with incomes below 80% of their area median. Single-family properties and multifamily properties of up to four units are eligible under the first phase, while later phases of New York's program will reach larger multifamily buildings and point-of-sale rebates at retailers.

The first phase of New York's program will also support homeowners who wish to install air sealing, insulation, ventilation, heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and electric upgrades (wiring and load service centers). The maximum rebate amount is $14,000 per housing unit.

New York is also working to stand up its Home Efficiency Rebates with $159 million funding from the President's Inflation Reduction Act, which will provide eligible households up to $8,000 in additional rebates for measures that reduce energy usage by at least 20%.

More States Get Ready for Rebate Launch
Three more states-Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island-have applied to DOE for funding needed to launch their own Home Energy Rebate programs.

Massachusetts has applied for its full $146 million allocation to launch both rebate programs-the Home Efficiency Rebates (HOMES) and HEAR .

Michigan has also applied for its full $211 million allocation to launch both programs.

Rhode Island has applied for close to $32 million to launch its HEAR program and will apply for its HOMES funding at a later date.

Interested parties can stay up to date on these programs by visiting the following websites:

Once DOE approves the applications and awards funding, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island will complete the final steps to launch their programs.

Seventeen states have now applied for nearly $1.9 billion in funding under at least one of the Home Energy Rebate programs. Each state is in charge of setting up and running its own program. You can check the status of your state's program at energy.gov/save/rebates.

Between now and September, Home Energy Rebates are expected to become available in several more states, allowing Americans to save energy and save money with energy-efficient home upgrades.

Consumer Protection
State 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. And in May, DOE published a consumer bill of rights for states to protect consumers as they launch their home energy rebate programs.

For more information on New York's program, please visit: EmPower+ - NYSERDA

For more information on what you can do to save energy and save money, as well as more information on when your state will be launching their own Home Energy Rebates Program, please visit: www.energy.gov/save