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New York becomes first state to offer Inflation Reduction Act home energy rebates

Governor Hochul Announces $39.6 Million is Now Available to Low Income New Yorkers for Home Energy Efficiency and Electrification Upgrades. Photo courtesy of the office of Gov. Hochul

May 31, 2024 By Czarinna Andres and Lloyd Mitchell

Gov. Kathy Hochul, along with state officials and U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, announced Thursday that low-income New Yorkers are now eligible to receive rebates for energy efficiency upgrades through a federal program called the Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) Program, which aims to lower household energy costs.

The governor, at a press event held at the Andromeda Community Center in Long Island City, unveiled the Biden administration’s new initiative that will help reduce household utility expenses via a rebate program that incentivizes energy efficiency upgrades. The plan, which stems from the Inflation Reduction Act and is part of the Investing in America agenda, aims to help low-income communities across the nation collectively save $8.8 billion through the installation of energy-efficient upgrades like heat pumps, upgraded electrical panels, and insulation at a reduced cost.

New Yorkers will be the first in the nation to be able to tap into the rebate program.

Hochul announced that $39.6 million in rebates are now available to low-income New Yorkers. The program will allow more low-income families to perform energy efficiency and electrification upgrades, which are essential in reducing energy costs and transitioning away from fossil fuels.

The initiative supports the state’s ambitious goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Hochul expressed her enthusiasm about leading the nation in this initiative.

“As the first state in the nation to offer these Inflation Reduction Act rebates, we are expanding access to home improvements that will save New Yorkers money on their energy bills and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” she stated. “Thanks to the strong partnership between New York State, the Biden Administration, and the U.S. Department of Energy, we are making important progress to make the clean energy transition affordable for all New Yorkers.”

Granholm highlighted the broader impact of the program. “From tax credits to rebates, the Biden-Harris Administration is determined to lower costs for American families and change the economics of home energy bills. New York is leading the charge as states across the country gear up to launch their Home Energy Rebates program—delivering jobs, savings, and healthier homes,” she said.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

“This initiative not only signifies a significant step towards energy efficiency but also highlights how governmental action can directly benefit the public by reducing living costs,” Granholm stated.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer also praised the initiative.

“The Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates/HEAR program is the secret sauce of our groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act: it saves consumers money on energy costs while reducing the polluting greenhouse gases driving global warming. With this $40 million federal boost, the HEAR program will reduce the cost of installing energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in a home or apartment, making them more affordable for New Yorkers while radically reducing carbon pollution,” Schumer said.

Schumer thanked Hochul and the Biden administration for their leadership in pushing for a healthier and brighter future for New York.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

New Yorkers, specifically those in one- to four-family households earning below 80 percent of the Area Median Income or are participating in utility payment assistance programs, are eligible to apply. For more details on the application process and requirements, residents are encouraged to visit the NYSERDA website.

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