IRA home electrification upfront rebates program update

As discussed on our training page Home Electrification and Efficiency Opportunities from the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRA established upfront rebate programs for low- and middle-income households to cover most or all of the costs to upgrade to clean technologies like heat pumps and electric induction stoves. But it's taken time to get those programs set up (each state will have to implement them, after establishing a system to get the funding from the Department of Energy [DOE]). Some states will move faster than others, and we expected to see the first ones rolled out in early-to-mid 2024.

My colleague Samantha Harrington has a nice status update on these programs, including a link to this DOE page on state application statuses. It tells us which states have applied for funds to to help them begin to develop their programs and hire staff, which states have received that funding, and which states have made enough progress to set up the systems needed to apply for the IRA rebate money. We can think of this as sort of a Stage 1, 2, and 3 along the way to finalizing the rebate programs. Once Stage 3 is complete, it will probably just be a few more months until that state's rebates become available. States that had developed well-staffed energy offices had an advantage in terms of moving quickly on these applications.

Here's where every state is at as of today:

Stage 3: California, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York

Stage 2: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Stage 1: Alaska, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Georgia, Guam, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virgin Islands, Washington DC

No Stage 1 application received: American Samoa, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming

In the article Sarah Baldwin from Electrify America is quoted noting that if you're worried your state won’t apply for the money, you should reach out to your state energy office

Pick up the phone and call and ask. State energy offices are civil servants, they work for the state, they work under taxpayer dollars, so they’re there to serve the people. So if you haven’t heard anything, check in.

6 Replies
Iona Lutey
178 Posts

@Dana Nuccitelli FYI - a couple of Northeast states called their energy offices or equivalent in response to this and were told that they already have programs in place so don't need additional funding.  They're staying on top of it though, so it has been good to have a heads up.
 

Huh that's interesting, thanks for the update @Iona Lutey! I know Maine is going big on heat pumps, so that makes some sense. I'm a little surprised they don't want to take the federal money anyway, but it leaves more money for other states, so that's good 🤓

Judy Davis
13 Posts
I had the same reaction as Dana. Why not take the $. The VT energy dept didn’t apply for the planning grant funding (thought they didn’t need more staff!). They plan to apply for the main rebate and energy efficiency funding - but they haven’t finished the main funding application. Still working out how to repurpose existing income verification software and finalizing the grant application. (I’m not clear what Stage 2 is - getting their plan approved?). They mentioned that Jan 2025 is the deadline for final grant application. Seem to be in no great hurry. Would the extra staff for planning have helped??

Thanks for the update, @Judy Davis. Yes, states have to tell the DOE by August that they plan to apply, but once they do that, they have until January to get the application in. But, we're all waiting. Get a move on, guys! 😂

It is good that they already have income verification processes that can be repurposed. You'd think that would make the process relatively easy and quick. Maybe if they'd taken those funds to devote more resources to the process, as you note 😉

This reminds me that when I was lobbying in DC last June, one of my meetings was with an MOC who was pissed that the rebates weren't already available at that point, because the bill had been passed 10 months prior and she wanted to get the funds out and use them herself to upgrade her home and get media coverage to better spread the word. In fact she told us that CCL should focus on getting the DOE and state to move faster (though that's not something we can do!). Now we're about 18 months since the bill passed, so it seems like something that should be a high priority for state energy offices to get done ASAP!

We have a big new update on these IRA low-and middle-income home electrification and efficiency upfront rebate programs. The first state to have its application approved and to receive funding under this program is … drumroll … New York! I have to admit I'm a little sad it's not California 😪😂

There are now 11 states that have submitted their paperwork and are awaiting this same Department of Energy (DOE) approval and funding. These states and their application submittal dates to the DOE are:

New Mexico (12/21/23 & 3/21/24; I think New Mexico is the first to apply for both rebate programs), Hawaii (12/29/23), California (1/12/24), Indiana (3/15/24), Washington (3/20/24), Arizona (3/21/24), Georgia (3/22/24), Minnesota (3/22/24), New Hampshire (3/22/24), Colorado (3/26/24), and Oregon (3/27/24).

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I think we can expect New Mexico, Hawaii, and California to be approved soon. Then there's the flood of 7 more states that submitted their final applications in March. It took New York about 4 months from submittal to approval, but this second group's might might be approved a bit more quickly as the DOE irons out the process. So they'll probably be approved this summer.

One more update courtesy of @Brett Cease. Minnesota points out that after the DOE approves the state program, it still takes several more months for the state to build and implement the program. The good news for Minnesota is that they're ahead of their projected schedule, because they anticipated submitting the paperwork to DOE in mid-2024 but got it done in March. In any case, we can probably still expect several more months before New Yorkers can access these rebates.

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