BPA Applauds Historic Bill with Focus on Homeowner Rebates and Clean Energy Jobs, Releases Report to Highlight Need for Retrofit Policies
August 5, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Miller, Director of Marketing & Communications
Moon Township, PA, August 5, 2022–Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA)—a bill that contains the largest combined investments in energy efficiency in U.S. history.
Today, as Congress debates this historic bill with $9 billion in rebates and training for the residential energy efficiency industry, BPA releases a new report titled, “Building a Sustainable Residential Infrastructure: Opportunities, challenges, and policy strategies to drive residential energy efficiency and decarbonization through advanced technologies and approaches.” The report is the culmination of research into the opportunities, needs, and innovative strategies to upgrade homes across the country with a review of how last year’s infrastructure law applies to those opportunities to improve the lives of American families while delivering on the country’s energy and climate goals.
“The IRA presents a significant and historic new opportunity to advance residential decarbonization at the speed and scale necessary to address climate, and the intersecting issues of energy security and affordability, resilience and environmental justice,” said report author Kara Saul-Rinaldi who serves as the BPA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Policy and Programs. “By identifying industry needs and challenges that are impeding broader adoption, as well as highlighting successful models and implementation strategies, we hope this report will inform new efforts to advance residential energy efficiency.”
The proposed legislation will fight inflation by driving down energy costs, providing economic opportunity and capacity-building investments in disadvantaged communities and low- to moderate-income households, creating good jobs, and cutting greenhouse gas pollution. According to an analysis from Senate Majority Leader Schumer’s office, the IRA would cut climate pollution by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030. Another analysis, by Energy Innovation, found that the IRA would create up to 1.5 million jobs.
Energy bills are a substantial portion of an occupant’s budget, often the biggest household expense after rent or a mortgage payment. To lower energy bills and reduce the burning of fossil fuels in homes, the IRA includes the following:
- The HOMES Rebate program, which allocates $4.3 billion to state energy offices for consumer rebates for comprehensive home energy retrofits. This includes up to $4,000 for homeowners completing a whole-house project, based on the energy saving performance of the home—and the rebate amount doubles for moderate-income households (up to 80% of median income). The HOMES program also addresses multifamily buildings, with owners also eligible for up to similar per-unit incentives when they achieve certain energy savings levels.
- The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program, which will direct $4.5 billion to state energy offices for the efficient electrification of low- and moderate-income households (up to 150% of median income), including both single family and multifamily properties. This will include up to $1,750 for a heat pump water heater, up to $8,000 for a heat pump for space heating or cooling, up to $840 for electric cooking equipment or a heat pump clothes dryer, as well as funding for upgrading electric load service, insulation and air sealing, and electric wiring.
- The State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants include funding for worker training, with $200 million to state energy offices for training and education to contractors involved in the installation of home energy efficiency and electrification improvements.
- The 25C Tax Incentive—the only homeowner incentive for energy efficiency purchases—was extended for 11 years, limited to 30% of the cost of qualified products or equipment, and generally limited to $1,200 annually with different caps on different product types.
“This historic legislation is exactly what the home and building performance industry needs,” said Steve Skodak, BPA CEO. “The report highlights the urgent need for more robust workforce development to train and equip workers with the skills to deliver effective home upgrades at scale. The Building Performance Association is poised to meet the upcoming demand to train the industry. We’ve been working locally and nationally to complete needs assessments that have allowed us to create training resources that fill the gaps needed to upskill our workforce. We’re ready for the demand—and we’re ready to help Americans lower their energy bills.”
BPA applauds Senators Manchin and Schumer for working together to reach this significant agreement to reduce costs, fight inflation, and advance a clean energy economy for all Americans. BPA also thanks the sponsors of the HOPE for HOMES legislation Sen. Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Welch (D-VT) and their many cosponsors for championing this provision for years.
About Building Performance Association
The Building Performance Association (BPA) is a 501(c)6 industry association committed to redefining the industry by supporting policies that will improve and increase the expansion of home and building performance, energy efficiency businesses, and industries. BPA is made up of more than 20,000 members and network participants who are working professionals in contracting services, weatherization, product manufacturing and distribution, program administration, building science, and nonprofits. The Association is devoted to enhancing the professional development of its members by creating educational opportunities that establish a culture of ongoing learning. The BPA mission is to advance a thriving industry that delivers improved energy efficiency, health, and environmental performance of buildings. With three decades of experience, the Association is well-equipped to provide industry support through key areas including advocacy, education, programs, networking, resources, and community. For more information, please visit www.building-performance.org.
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