U.S. DOE Provides Additional Guidance for States Applying for IRA Home Energy Rebates Programs

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U.S. DOE Provides Additional Guidance for States Applying for IRA Home Energy Rebates Programs

To assist U.S. states and territories in planning and applying for the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) Home Energy Rebates (HER) Programs, including the Home Efficiency Rebates Program (Section 50121), the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) in January 2024 put-forth additional guidance following the initial program guidelines released in July 2023.

The Home Efficiency Rebates Program (Section 50121) authorizes $4.3 billion in formula grants to State Energy Offices to reduce the upfront cost of whole-home energy efficiency upgrades in single-family and multi-family homes. For Section 50121 programs, energy consumption data is required to be used to calculate energy savings and the associated rebate. To implement the Home Efficiency Rebates program, State Energy Offices will need to plan programs to access, protect and use utility data.

U.S. DOE provided Utility Data Access Guidelines in July 2023 to serve as a framework for States, utilities, third-parties, and stakeholders in the residential electric and natural gas energy sectors to ensure safe, efficient, and transparent data-sharing practices for program implementers. States should reference the Utility Data Access Guidelines to develop and submit their own Data Access Plan that contains information on safety and security protocols and consumer consent processes.

For States developing Data Access Plans, U.S. DOE recommends looking to established energy data-access and -sharing processes including the industry's Green Button Connect My Data® Standard (for single-family and master-metered multi-family dwellings) and the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® (for individually-metered multi-family dwellings) as options.

The U.S. DOE provided additional documents, and clarifications to existing documents, including to the Program Requirements & Application Instructions and Data and Tools Requirements Guide, in October 2023.

In January 2024, the U.S. DOE made available a Data Access Plan Introduction to assist States in understanding the Utility Data Access Guidelines, Data Access Plan requirements, and pathways for customer consent. U.S. DOE also provided Data Access Pathways Background and Plan Templates which contain information regarding various options for data access paths States can select for both single- and multi-family customers based on the State’s existing infrastructure. The Plan Templates provide templates for States to use in developing their Data Access Plans.

For more complete information, see Home Energy Rebates Application Guidance. Applications must be submitted through the U.S. DOE's Performance and Accountability for Grants in Energy (PAGE) system and are due by January 31, 2025.