Biden-Harris administration announces $250 million to fund energy efficiency upgrades for American families and businesses

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WASHINGTON DC – The Biden-Harris administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced it is accepting requests from all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia for funding $250 million through the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program. Established by President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, grants under this program will allow states and territories to create revolving loan funds to invest in energy audits and efficiency upgrades and retrofits. energy of commercial and residential buildings. This agenda advances President Biden’s priorities to build an equitable clean energy economy, while ensuring energy affordability, creating well-paying jobs, and advancing energy justice and economic gains for all. historically disadvantaged communities.

“Energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective and deployable solutions we have to fight climate change and reduce energy costs,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “By expanding access to energy efficiency upgrades for American families and small and medium-sized businesses, we will generate energy savings and provide cleaner air, helping historically underserved states and communities benefit benefits of energy efficiency.”

A recent DOE study reveals that energy efficiency loans for residential customers are generally low risk and have historically been repaid at a high rate, signaling that energy efficiency loans are safe and efficient investments for lenders and customers. A revolving loan fund is a “permanent” source of financing for energy efficiency and clean energy projects because money received from repaid loans is continually recycled as loans for additional projects. With funding from this program, states can establish or enhance strong revolving loan fund programs that provide energy efficiency loans to commercial and residential building owners and leverage capital from private, philanthropic and other sources to amplify the impact of federal funding.

In addition to providing loans for energy efficiency audits and upgrades, states can use up to a quarter of the funding for grants and technical assistance to low-income homeowners and small businesses. In line with President Biden’s Justice 40 initiative, the DOE will work with states to ensure that revolving loan fund programs prioritize disadvantaged communities that have faced underinvestment in energy efficiency deployment. .

The Presidential Inflation Reduction Act also provides for substantial investments in robust energy efficiency and clean energy financing that can go hand in hand with revolving loan funds. The act created the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which will provide competitive grants to leverage financing and leverage private capital for clean energy and climate projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect. It also creates the Energy-Efficient Electric Home Rebate Program to provide up to $14,000 in direct-to-consumer rebates for eligible families to purchase heat pumps or other energy-efficient appliances, which can families save about $350 per year. Finally, Americans can access tax credits expanded by law for installing energy efficiency and clean energy technologies in their homes.

Funding available for each state, territory and the District of Columbia is allocated to ensure deeper impact in states with higher energy consumption and carbon emissions. Forty percent of funding is allocated to all state energy offices based on the state energy program formula, and the remaining 60% is allocated to a subset of priority states, which are defined by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act as follows:

  • Among the 15 states with the highest combined energy consumption per capita in the residential and commercial sectors, as recently reported by the Energy Information Administration; WHERE
  • Among the 15 states with the highest annual per capita energy-related carbon emissions per state, as recently reported by the Energy Information Administration.

The full list of funding guidelines and application materials for states, including the formula allocation methodology, can be found here.

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