The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that the first group of states (California, Hawaii, New Mexico and New York) applied to its Home Energy Rebates program. The Home Energy Rebates program, which is authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act, is a $8.8 billion investment that provides rebates that will help households lower their energy costs by upgrading home appliances, insulating their homes, installing heat pumps and making additional energy-efficient improvements. The DOE estimates that these rebates will both save Americans $1 billion annually in energy bills and support over 50,000 jobs.

The Home Energy Rebates program includes funding for two types of rebates for consumers:

  1. $4.3 billion in Home Efficiency Rebates, which will provide discounts on energy-saving retrofits in single-family and multifamily buildings; and
  2. $4.5 billion in Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates, which will provide rebates for high-efficiency electricity upgrades in homes.

States and territories that ultimately receive this funding will need to meet several requirements, including allocating at least 50 percent of their rebates to low-income households earning 80 percent or less of their area median income and submitting plans that outline how the investments will create jobs and new opportunities in underserved communities.

The DOE is currently reviewing their applications for Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates program funding. Once approved, the states will launch their programs and start accepting rebate applications from consumers. Applications for Home Efficiency Rebates program funding will be submitted later.

The DOE provided guidance and technical assistance throughout 2023 to help states, territories and tribes apply for and set up their programs. The agency will continue releasing technical assistance documents in the coming weeks. For more information, homeowners can visit the Home Energy Rebates website. A representative from DOE will present on using the rebates in LIHTC transactions at the Sustainable Affordable Housing Symposium ahead of the 2024 Annual Meeting in Palm Beach on February 21-24.