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Governor announces Department of Energy approval to fund energy affordability program for low-income New Yorkers


Thu, Apr 18th 2024 02:50 pm

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the approval of New York’s partial-scope application for the U.S. Department of Energy’s home electrification and appliance rebates program formula grant funding. 

Her team said, “This approval builds on New York state’s commitment to improve low-income families' homes with the latest efficiency and clean energy upgrades that will make them more comfortable and reduce energy costs. Today's announcement supports the State’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050 and advances Hochul’s goal to achieve 2 million climate-friendly homes by 2030.”

Hochul said, "New York is setting the pace in the transition to modern, affordable and efficient homes. With this Inflation Reduction Act funding, we continue the transition to an affordable clean energy future that benefits all New Yorkers. We thank President Biden, Secretary Granholm and the New York congressional delegation for their support and are proud to partner with the Department of Energy to lead on this historic opportunity and build a healthier future for all New Yorkers.”

A press release stated, “The application submitted by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requested $39.6 million in initial funding, which will allow NYSERDA’s low-income EmPower+ program to provide additional energy efficiency and beneficial electrification improvements, expanding its current reach. New York state is eligible to receive a total of $317.7 million through the DOE’s IRA home energy rebate programs: $159.3 million for the home efficiency rebates and $158.4 million for HEAR program.

“Eligible owners of one to four family homes will be able to receive significant discounts, up to 100% of total project cost, for insulation and air sealing, heat pumps for space and water heating, and any necessary electrical upgrades to support those improvements. This application represents the first step in receiving Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding for the full portfolio of IRA home energy rebate programs. NYSERDA is planning to launch expanded IRA home energy rebate program offers later this year after the full scope application has been submitted and approved by DOE.

“NYSERDA is currently working towards developing and submitting the full HEAR application to enable rebate offers to moderate-income residents and to owners of larger low- and moderate-income multifamily buildings, including high-efficiency appliance rebates.

“Additionally, to utilize the full federal funding available for New York state, NYSERDA will be applying to the home efficiency rebates program, which will further expand residents’ access to upgrades for heat pumps and other clean, low carbon technologies.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “The bold and impactful home electrification and appliance rebates program, created by the historic Inflation Reduction Act, is a win-win-win that will save consumers money on energy bills, reduce pollution causing climate change, and advance environmental justice. This $158 million in federal funding will help low-income New Yorkers save on energy bills and reduce pollution by replacing dirty, inefficient appliances with modern energy units. The home electrification and appliance rebates program is another great example of the deeply impactful policies imbedded at the heart of the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce emissions while promoting environmental justice and spurring more investment in cleaner technologies. I am proud to deliver this funding and will continue fighting to lower pollution and save costs to lead New York to a healthier future.”

U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez said, “The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates program will not only help fight climate change and usher in more climate justice for our communities, but will also lower costs of working families across the state. This funding will help make New York households more energy efficient and provide substantial cost savings, and I am excited to see the positive impact of this program on my district. I was proud to support the creation of this program through the Inflation Reduction Act, and I thank President Biden and Gov. Hochul for making this possible.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “We are thrilled to be able to expand NYSERDA’s successful EmPower+ program for low-income residents with the approval of New York’s home energy electrification and appliance rebate application. Under the state’s Climate Act, we have committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers benefit from clean energy investments, and this is an important first step towards empowering our most vulnerable population to make essential energy efficiency improvements that make their home safer and more comfortable to live in.”

Building Performance Contractors Association of NYS President Hal Smith said, “The BPCA of NYS is very excited to be able to get started on this great program. This is great news for all contractors that are making energy-efficient improvements for low-income New Yorkers. This will allow us to do a lot more toward the goal of climate-friendly homes.”

New York State Policy for Rewiring America Director Michael Hernandez said, “New York should be applauded for being first in the nation to establish a home electrification and appliance rebates program made possible by the landmark Inflation Reduction Act. This historic investment will help lower energy bills and create healthier, more comfortable homes for those who need it most and ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of income, have the opportunity to reap the benefits of high-performance, energy-saving appliances.”

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