Pearl Congratulates U.S. Senate on Historic Climate Bill
WASHINGTON, August 9, 2022 (Newswire.com) - The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed by the U.S. Senate on Sunday, contains funding for measures to address climate change that the country — and the entire planet — have been waiting for. Electric vehicle tax credits, clean power incentives for utilities, support for manufacturers of heat pumps and solar panels, and billions to support disadvantaged communities. Together, the provisions should reduce U.S. energy emissions by 40% from 2005 levels.
"Pearl congratulates the U.S. Senate on the passage of this historic legislation," said Pearl president and co-founder Robin LeBaron. "The Inflation Reduction Act is a huge, visionary step toward reducing carbon emissions and strengthening the United States' clean energy economy. It will benefit manufacturers, small businesses, workers, across the country — and people across the globe."
Among the $386 billion dedicated in the legislation to climate change and clean energy, the Senate approved $9 billion to address a decades-old challenge: scaling up residential energy efficiency and beneficial electrification. Studies indicate that if homeowners across the U.S. weatherized their homes and installed high-efficiency heating, cooling, and water heating equipment, the nation's carbon footprint could be reduced by 4% or more — and homeowners would save billions of dollars on energy costs. These upgrades provide homeowners with an impressive array of health, comfort, safety, and energy savings benefits. Yet very few homeowners actually make them.
The HOMES program in the bill will provide $4.3 billion in rebates ranging in size from $2,000 to $8,000 for homeowners who make whole-house energy upgrades and achieve significant energy savings. The High-Efficiency Electric Home program will make $4.5 billion available in rebates ranging in amounts from $840 to $8,000 for homeowners to install high-efficiency heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction stoves, and other electric equipment, as well as to make weatherization improvements. Rebates for income-qualified households will be significantly higher, and the bill provides an incentive for contractors to provide services in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
"The HOMES and residential electrification programs in the IRA will transform millions of U.S. homes and improve the lives and budgets of millions of U.S. homeowners," said Cynthia Adams, Pearl's CEO and co-founder. "It will also transform the U.S. manufacturing and contracting industries by driving an immense new demand for high-efficiency equipment."
A historic precedent: the bill requires that all homeowners who receive a HOMES rebate must also receive a certification that describes the improvements and energy savings that help the homeowner capture the value of the improvement at time of sale or refinance.
"For the first time, homeowners who receive a rebate through this program will have documentation that will give them a crucial tool to explain to future buyers, real estate agents, appraisers, and underwriters why their high-performing home is better, most cost-efficient, and more valuable than the regular home next door," LeBaron said.
About Pearl Certification
Pearl Certification is the gold standard in high-performing home certifications, bringing visibility to the valuable features that make them healthy, safe, comfortable, and energy- and water-efficient. Pearl is the only national sponsor of the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program and is a partner with the National Association of REALTORS® Green REsource Council. Pearl has certified and provided appraisal addenda on over 90,000 homes in 44 states and Washington, D.C. Pearl Certified homes sell on average for 3.5-6% more than comparable homes, according to independent appraiser studies. pearlcertification.com/
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