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DOE Releases Best Practices to Protect Consumers from Fraudulent Claims

March 1, 2024

An Home Energy Rebates update from the Office of State & Community Energy Programs:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is prioritizing consumer protection as it funds and oversees state, territorial, and Tribal Home Energy Rebate programs. To that end, DOE has released comprehensive best practices outlining actions DOE and state energy offices (SEOs) can take to help consumers avoid fraudulent claims.

This document will serve as a roadmap for protecting consumers as SEOs roll out Rebate programs for their residents.

“The Home Energy Rebates will provide an opportunity for consumers to save thousands of dollars on energy efficiency upgrades,” said Keishaa Austin, Acting Director of DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs. “We want to ensure that as consumers upgrade their homes, they have resources to select a reputable contractor, and flag any issues that may arise.”

The best practices recommend housing consumer protection information within DOE’s consumer savings hub at DOE has already launched a dashboard that displays the status of state and territorial Rebate programs.

Other potential content includes:

  • Links to states’ qualified contractor lists.Key items for consumers to look for in contractor quotes.Information on how to file complaints.
  • Overview of how consumers will receive rebates.
  • Contact information for state energy offices.Links to state consumer protection plans.
  • Opportunities for input on state consumer protection plans currently under development.

Other recommendations include:

  • Ensuring DOE and state communications are clear, audience-appropriate, and prioritize equity and accessibility.
  • Ensuring states communicate effectively to key audiences — homeowners, tenants, owners of affordable multifamily properties, and contractors.
  • Providing information on other programs that provide no-cost energy efficiency measures for low-income consumers.

DOE will now proceed with implementing consumer protection measures, including developing additional documents to support SEO efforts. We will share those resources in future announcements.

Read the consumer protection best practices.

About Home Energy Rebates

On Aug. 16, 2022, President Joseph R. Biden signed the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. The law includes nearly $400 billion to support clean energy and address climate change, including $8.8 billion in Home Energy Rebates, which will provide two separate rebates to consumers:

The Home Efficiency Rebates will provide $4.3 billion to discount the price of energy-saving retrofits in single-family and multi-family buildings. These rebates will be administered by states and territories.

The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates will provide $4.5 billion in rebates for high-efficiency electricity upgrades in homes.

These rebates will be administered by states, territories, and Indian tribes.For more information, visit the Home Energy Rebates website and sign up for email updates.

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