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If we don't prioritize families that need Inflation Reduction Act Rebates most, the $8.8 Billion will BE TAKEN in 2024 By THOSe WHO NEED IT LESS
California's new "one-stop-shop" bill (SB755) helpS families automatically qualify for IRA & other funds but every states need this
State Energy Offices across the United States have been allocated nearly $9 billion in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) rebates for residential energy upgrades but some states are better prepared than others.
California sits at one end of the spectrum with its 700 state energy office employees, some of whom are dedicated to deploying its $582 million in IRA rebates.
In preparation, California just introduced SB 755, which will require the state energy office to collaborate with other agencies to build a "one-stop-shop" that combines IRA rebates with all other existing state and federal funds and automatically populates applications for all of them on behalf of low-income and disadvantaged households. If SB 755 becomes Law, it will make rebate applications and capital stacking easier for folks and may even protect against the regressively of rebates whereby higher income households use rebates at a disproportionately high level while low income households are under-benefiting. On the other end sits Nevada, with its state energy office staff of 12 people who have limited capacity to prepare for its $96 million in rebates. In between are more states and territories with various degrees of readiness, but none are building a SB 755 style One-Stop-Shop Capital Stacking Platform.
The National Association of State Energy Officials is offering as much technical assistance as possible but they are understaffed and will need all the tools they can get to ensure that IRA rebates go to the homes that need them most. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is ramping up hiring and wading through all the public comments it solicited to get help on the process for distributing all the IRA funds . We have formally responded with comments stating that all energy offices need the ability to identify priority homes and stack the incoming IRA rebates with existing state funding to turn partially discounted, piecemeal upgrade offers into no-cost offers with an easy, one-stop-shop delivery. In short, all states need the concept of SB 755, but we may be able to avoid passing new legislation in every state if we pilot the one-stop-shop capital stacking idea in CA, then NV as a contrast in a less resourced state, and then federally through DOE guidelines that will be written over the course of 2023.
What is at Stake?
To get one step closer to upgrading all 120 million homes in the US, each state energy office needs a secure, One-Stop-Shop Climate Capital Stacking Platform that marries public, federal, interagency, and utility data on existing funds and qualification criteria to autofill and pre-qualify applications on behalf of every household in its state and then prioritize the distribution of funds to those homes in the most disadvantaged communities.
In the absence of a One-Stop Shop Climate Capital Stacking Platform, IRA rebates are merely partial discounts and that’s not enough to help afford their home upgrades. SB 755 would combine many sources of funding (new and old) that, when used together, can potentially make these upgrades free for hundreds of thousands of low-income and vulnerable customers.
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