NHLP and NCLC Release Advocacy Resource on IRA Home Energy Rebates

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) and National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) have released a new resource, “IRA Home Energy Rebates State Program Design Recommendations.” The resource, which is designed to help advocates and tenants boost equitable investments in energy efficiency and electrification for low-income households, explains that the “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA) can be used to provide urgent relief to low-income tenants struggling with high utility bills, but only if state programs include and implement effective consumer protections. Included in the 16-page resource are tenant protection recommendations focusing on the prevention of rent increases and displacement, the preservation of affordable rental housing, additional protections for tenants in federally supported low-income housing, and enforcement of tenant protections.

Almost $9 billion is available to states and territories through the Home Energy Rebate program, provided states and territories submit program plans to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by January 31, 2025. NHLP and NCLC created the new resource to help advocates promote state plans that prioritize the most meaningful assistance for low-income tenants and homeowners. The resource outlines specific ways to ensure low-income tenants pay less and acquire protection from rising rents, displacement, and eviction. It outlines issue areas that advocates and tenants should prioritize when providing stakeholder input regarding state rebate plans. Some aspects of state plans are mandatory, but advocates will still need to monitor plan implementation to ensure compliance. Advocates should also take advantage of opportunities to press their state to go beyond required plan components to direct more funds to low-income households and/or provide more and stronger consumer protections.

NHLP and NCLC intend to host a webinar on these topics soon (Memo will alert readers when the webinar is announced).

Read “IRA Home Energy Rebates State Program Design Recommendations” at: https://tinyurl.com/yvt2w8mu