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Aug 19, 2022

There Really Is Hope For Homes in the IRA: An Open Letter from BPA CEO Steve Skodak

A letter from Steve Skodak, the CEO of BPA

Quote graphic from BPA CEO Steve Skodak

It’s been a historic week—for us here at the Building Performance Association (BPA) and for the American public. For more than a decade, many of us at BPA have been working hard to get the policies embedded in the HOPE for HOMES Act into law. From grassroots letters of support to zoom lobby days to watching HOPE for HOMES get included in the most recent Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), it’s been a long journey. And, it’s a journey that will continue.

We couldn’t have made this journey without our members, supporters, stakeholders, allies, and everyone in this industry who signed our support letters, attended a lobby day, and told their friends to speak up in support of this historic legislation. Thank you. From myself and everyone at BPA, I can say that we greatly appreciate your support; because of you, this bill has passed. Because of you, this legislation will help Americans live in safe, efficient, and healthy homes.

BPA has a long history of working to improve the energy efficiency retrofit industry. Now that HOPE for HOMES is finally over the finish line within the IRA, we can all get to work on what comes next. The legislation provides $8.8 billion in consumer incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their home and $200 million in training to scale up the workforce.

HOPE for HOMES was crafted by our own Kara Saul-Rinaldi, Vice President of Government Affairs, Policy and Program. Though she works for BPA, she also is the President, CEO, and Founder of AnnDyl Policy Group and serves many of the organizations in the energy efficiency retrofit market. She has worked tirelessly with industry leaders and members of the House and Senate to craft a 74-page bill designed by the industry to improve the homes of Americans. As Kara notes, these 74 pages were negotiated down to 12 pages in the budget reconciliation process for inclusion in the IRA, so Kara will continue working in support of the bill to fill in the details as they were intended to serve the consumer, state energy offices, and contractors in the field.

This legislation provides much-needed consumer incentives to assist homeowners with the cost of making their home more energy efficient, and, ultimately, create a healthier home. Additionally, this legislation provides training dollars to scale-small businesses and training support to contractors who will be incentivized to look at the house as a system.

The home and building performance industry needs tens of thousands of additional workers to meet the goals established by this legislation. Efficiency first is key to reaching goals of reducing carbon emissions and improving the health of those living in America’s homes.

BPA plans to lead this charge by serving as the conduit for encouraging entry into the industry, outlining resources available for technical training, and providing training on how to navigate funding from this bill.

BPA will work in each state to introduce our apprenticeship program and attract more career seekers into this work. Providing career paths and clear processes to achieve success is an important part of BPA’s efforts. BPA is cooperatively working with our Ally network in support of our collective mission to advance a thriving industry delivering improved energy efficiency, health, and environmental performance of buildings.

As guidelines are developed for program implementation, formulas are developed within states and educators work to deliver technical training, BPA will help new entries to the industry as they navigate the many resources available to them.

BPA is working with various stakeholders in states to coordinate resources and work as a convener to educate contractors on implementation of this program. Through our Ally network and utilizing our growing Affiliate network, BPA will serve to train businesses on sustainable business practices and provide technical assistance with implementation of HOPE for HOMES.

BPA has hired our first State Coordinator and we are in the process of adding two additional next month. This team will work with stakeholders to identify gaps that may exist in resources needed to scale home performance projects. We will also work with local schools, technical institutes, and training centers to increase the exposure of students to the career options within this growing industry.

The BPA network has doubled to over 20,000 individuals working in various roles within our industry in the last two years alone. This network will grow as we work to bring together stakeholders around the country to fulfill our vision of all buildings providing an energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy, and safe indoor environment.

HOPE for HOMES is exactly what this industry needs, and BPA is proud to be the association representing every energy efficiency business, every home performance contractor, every weatherization professional, and, ultimately, every person who works tirelessly to improve the health of American homes.

We’ve reached a huge milestone, and that success should not be ignored. So, let’s take a moment to appreciate our collective efforts and understand the impact this will have on our industry. Now, let’s get to work.

Steve Skodak, CEO, Building Performance Association

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