In 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy released its program guidance for the Home Efficiency Rebates (HER), and Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) programs, which together allocate over $208 million to North Carolina to provide energy efficiency rebates.
As of January 2024, DEQ is applying for the planning grant funding for the Home Rebate programs. With those funds, DEQ will continue designing the state rebate program and application. The State Energy Office will release more information as soon as it is available.
Below are answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding IRA rebates, which have been updated to reflect the new guidance.
1: Are home energy rebates from the IRA currently available?
No. On 7/27/2023, the U.S. Department of Energy released program guidance for the HER and HEAR programs to states, and DEQ's State Energy Office staff are working to review that guidance.
2: When will I be able to access home energy rebates?
The timeline is tentative and subject to change, but the State Energy Office expects households to be able to access these rebates in late 2024 or 2025. More detailed information on timelines and availability will become available as staff continue to review the guidance released by the U.S. Department of Energy.
3: Will home energy rebates be available retroactively?
DEQ must establish programs that ensure compliance with the law, and a decision on retroactivity cannot be made until staff have finished reviewing the U.S Department of Energy guidance and established the North Carolina energy rebates programs. Projects completed before programs are in place may not comply with the guidelines established later on, and rebates administered at point of sale would be difficult to implement months after the purchase was made. For all of these reasons, citizens are encouraged to wait until the North Carolina energy rebate program has been established and review the program requirements before making purchases to ensure the best chance of qualifying for the rebates.
4: What factors determine how much money a household can get for home energy rebates?
The money available for home energy rebates varies depending on factors including:
- Per-household rebate limits established by the law and program administrators
- What technology or technologies are being installed in the home,
- Whether or not the project has measured or estimated energy savings, and how those energy savings are calculated,
- The household’s area median income, and
- The total project cost.
Area Median Income is determined by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development each year. You can use the HUD portal here to view AMI by county and number of family members.
This section will be expanded once the North Carolina energy rebate program has been implemented.
5. Are there any IRA benefits that I can access now?
Tax credits are available through the IRS for certain qualifying home energy efficiency improvements, including insulation, heating equipment and others. Visit the IRS online at https://www.irs.gov/inflation-reduction-act-of-2022 and consult your tax professional for more information.
6. Where can I learn more about Inflation Reduction Act Home Rebates?
Visit the U.S. Department of Energy's FAQ page at https://www.energy.gov/scep/slsc/home-energy-rebate-programs to keep up to date on developments at the Federal level, and for more detailed information.
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