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The Department of Energy (DOE) will be issuing guidance to the states in July, which will shape how the Inflation Reduction Act’s rebate programs, Homeowner Managing Energy Savings program (HOMES) and High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA), will be designed. At that time, states will be required to submit program designs to the DOE for approval. They anticipate rolling applications, having state programs launch in waves, rather than all at once. The guidelines will likely lay out the criteria for states to determine which timeline is the best fit for their launch. As the most trusted IRA resource for home energy contractors, Pearl Certification works closely with the DOE and state energy offices to bring you the latest IRA news.

IRA State Rebate Options

The DOE announced two tracks for state implementation of the IRA rebates:

  1. Existing Program Enabling: This “quick start” option is intended for states with an existing infrastructure capable of issuing the IRA’s rebates.

  2. The Full New Program is intended for states without an existing program in place.

The DOE’s guidance will include details to help states understand which pathway is best suited for them.

Goals for a Better Future

Michael Forrester, Principal Deputy Director of the Office of State and Community Energy Programs at the DOE, laid out five goals they hope to achieve with the implementation of IRA rebate programs:

1.  Reduce home energy bills: Improving U.S. homes’ energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy costs for consumers.

2.  Home energy market transformation and activate the private market: This ambitious, yet environmentally necessary, goal aims to replace the energy source of the U.S. residential sector from fossil fuels to more sustainable options. The DOE will foster public-private collaborations between voluntary protection programs (VPPs) and private organizations to work toward this common goal.

3.  Successful collaboration with states, utilities, and existing programs:The DOE does not want to create unnecessary work and therefore will honor existing programs and will collaborate to make implementation as seamless as possible. Best practices have already begun to take shape and will continue to be adopted as they evolve. The IRA rebates allot $8.8 billion for home energy improvements, which may sound like a lot, but when considering the scope of work of updating homes across America, the money may not stretch as far as planned.

4.  Successful transition to more efficient fuels and technologies: The DOE will support energy transitions by providing technical assistance, planning resources, tools, and training sessions.

5. Create economic opportunities for workers:The IRA rebates allocate increased funding for households earning 80-150% of area median income (AMI) and even more for households earning less than 80% of AMI. By targeting these homes, hopefully the IRA will introduce high-paying jobs and quality employment opportunities to historically disadvantaged communities.

Pearl Certification anticipates that state energy offices will begin offering IRA rebates to their residents in Q4 2023 or Q1 2024. In the meantime, Pearl Certification will follow the DOE closely to report key developments to our Pearl Network Contractors. If you have any questions about the IRA, please email [email protected]

The IRA’s HOMES rebate requires installations to be third-party certified. Backed by the U.S. Department of Energy and ENERGY STAR®, Pearl is the only third-party certification for energy efficiency and home performance installations. To obtain third-party certification for your installations and prepare your business for success with the IRA, please complete the below form to learn about joining the Pearl Network.

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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