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As the U.S.’s largest investment in clean energy solutions, the multi-billion-dollar Inflation Reduction Act promises to transform the high-performance homes industry, but the guidelines for implementing these incredible opportunities are still being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. Therefore, Pearl Certification, along with a number of other industry partners and stakeholders, partnered with AnnDyl Policy Group to conduct a contractor survey to provide the DOE with the data they need to develop IRA guidelines that support your business. All of Pearl Certification’s contractor contacts were invited via email to participate.

Last month, the AnnDyl Policy Group presented the survey results, alongside Pearl and other industry organizations, to key staff at the DOE. In particular, survey results related to workforce training were featured in several responses to the DOE’s Workforce Development Request for Information (RFI), including the response led by the Building Performance Association and signed by Pearl Certification.

Key Survey Results

The contractor survey received responses from 1,154 contractors across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Contractor respondents identified as follows:

Contractor Respondents
Third Party Certification

Third-Party Certification

The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act's $4.3B Homeowner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) rebate program requires installations to be third-party certified. As a quality assurance measure, each home energy-efficiency retrofit must come with a third-party certification provided by the contractor to the homeowner.

Although the DOE is still developing the specific requirements for third-party certification, the IRA states that the certification must detail “the work performed, the equipment and materials installed, and the projected energy savings or energy generation to support accurate valuation of the retrofit.” Of the 1,036 contractors who responded to this question, 46% reported that they do not offer third-party certification.

The top reason reported for not providing third-party certification was not having enough time, as well as the burden of paperwork. “Offering third-party certification is not as cumbersome as you may think,” says John White, Director of Success for Pearl Certification. “The Pearl Certification system provides multiple pathways for data automation that enables contractors to connect their customer relationship management (CRM) software directly to ours. In many cases, contractors are documenting the necessary information as part of their regular business practices. After joining the Pearl Network, Pearl Contractors can document and validate the increased value they bring to the home and simultaneously comply with a key stipulation of the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Planned Rebate Participation

IRA Participation

Six percent of survey respondents reported that they do not plan to participate in the IRA’s HOMES program, which provides a maximum rebate of $8,000 to all homeowners' projects that achieve a minimum of 20% energy savings. “Even if you don’t plan to participate in the IRA’s rebates programs, your competitors likely will,” says Derek Estes, Vice President of Pearl’s Contractor Division. “Why wouldn’t potential customers hire your competitor in order to save thousands of dollars? If you want to remain competitive in the marketplace, you need to participate in the HOMES rebate program so that your competitors don’t price you out and so that your services become significantly more affordable and therefore enticing to potential customers.”

To the 49% of contractor respondents who report they don’t know enough about the IRA program to decide whether they will partake in the rebates offered, Estes says, “I understand that the 273-page IRA is dense and complicated, but the good news is that you don’t have to navigate the IRA alone. Pearl Certification is working closely with the AnnDyl Policy Group and state energy offices to stay informed of the latest IRA developments and turn them into actionable advice for Pearl Network Contractors so that they are set for success. The specifics of the IRA guidelines may still be in development, but contractors can begin taking advantage of current tax credits, issuing third-party certifications, and developing their IRA action plans now.”

Training Preferences
Training Duration

Training Subsidies

The IRA will create a surge in homeowner demand for energy-efficient improvements. To ensure this work is performed to code, the IRA includes Registered Apprenticeship provisions for the following tax credits, as well as requires prevailing wage stipulations to create a high-quality career pathway for all industry workers.

  • Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit

  • Production Tax Credit

  • Credit for Carbon Oxide Sequestration

  • Credit for Production of Clean Hydrogen

  • Clean Fuel Production Credit

  • Investment Tax Credit

  • Advanced Energy Project Credit

  • Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction

In an effort to prevent undue stress on employers for funding additional training, the DOE is exploring creating training subsidies. Contractor survey respondents reported their training preferences as seen at the left.

The next graph shows contractors' preferences for the length of time that they would be willing to allow their employees to pursue outside certification.

The AnnDyl Contractor Survey continues to make an impact; they will also be used in upcoming responses related to the DOE’s RFI focused on the two home energy rebate programs contained in the Inflation Reduction Act.

As the specifics of the Inflation Reduction Act continue to unfold, give yourself a front-row ticket to developing IRA guidelines by joining the Pearl Contractor Network. Complete the below form or call 1.844.PEARLØØ to learn more. Pearl Certification is dedicated to maximizing its Network Contractors’ success with the IRA, so if you have any questions about this impactful legislation, please email [email protected].

Join the Pearl Network.

Only Pearl Network Contractors are authorized to offer Pearl Certification — and only contractors who have demonstrated exceptional quality and service are accepted into the network. Call 1.844.PEARLØØ or complete the form to learn how joining the Pearl Network can drive leads, close more opportunities, and set you apart from the competition.

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