NHT Joins Nearly 50 Organizations Urging DOE Action on IRA Home Energy Rebate Programs
On March 3, National Housing Trust submitted comments recommending the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) incorporate program design best practices to ensure affordable multifamily housing providers and residents can access nearly $9 billion in rebates for home electrification and efficiency improvements. Nearly 50 local, state, and national organizations supported the recommendations, spanning affordable housing providers and advocates, environmental justice organizations, energy efficiency and environmental advocates, and housing finance agencies.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed by President Biden on August 16, 2022, and included two rebate programs.
- The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program (Home Electrification Rebates) includes $4.275 billion in grants to State Energy Offices for rebates for installing high-efficiency electric appliances, such as heat pumps, induction stoves, and home electric infrastructure upgrades.
- The Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole House Rebates Program (Home Efficiency Rebates) includes $4.3 billion for grants to State Energy Offices to provide rebates for the costs of energy efficiency retrofits that achieve modeled or measured energy savings.
Single-family homes and multifamily buildings are eligible for funding, with higher rebates available to homes occupied by low-income residents (See tables below for funding amounts). But reaching renters requires tailored program approaches that account for the economic and structural differences between single-family detached and multifamily housing. To ensure that multifamily renters and housing providers can access the programs, we recommend that DOE and State Energy Offices:
- Create a set aside for affordable multifamily housing;
- Allow incentives to be used for in-unit, common area, and whole-building energy savings opportunities;
- Align and integrate rebates w/ housing finance and public housing authority programs;
- Provide technical assistance and project management services to building owners;
- Address economic obstacles, including split incentives and lack of upfront funding;
- Provide tools to program administrators to help them identify and engage affordable housing owners and residents; and
- Provide flexible and streamlined income verification options.
The next step in the implementation process for both programs is for DOE to provide guidance to the states as State Energy Offices develop their program plans. We encourage housing stakeholders to engage their State Energy Offices as they develop their plans to ensure that the programs equitably serve low-income households in both single- and multifamily housing.
For more information on how NHT can support your efforts in bringing rebates to multifamily residents, please contact Todd Nedwick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to learn more about other IRA opportunities? The comments to DOE are just the latest in a series NHT has submitted to federal agencies to ensure that IRA resources are available to affordable housing providers and renters.
- In October, we submitted comments to HUD on the design of the Green and Resilient Retrofit Program.
- In November, we submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Treasury to ensure that affordable multifamily housing can access the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program for solar tax credits through the Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
- In December, we submitted comments recommending that the Environmental Protection Agency focus investments through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund on affordable housing.
Keep up on the latest at our IRA Implementation webpage.