New Grant Program HOPE for HOMES Drives Energy Efficiency Initiatives in States
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that applications are now open for state energy departments seeking a share of the $150 million available in workforce development grants. This funding opportunity is part of the landmark Hope for Homes Act, spearheaded by U.S. Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt. The Act was passed last year as an integral component of the historic Inflation Reduction Act, marking a significant stride towards achieving the nation’s energy efficiency goals.
Senator Welch expressed his enthusiasm for the program’s launch through a public statement. He emphasized that the Hope for Homes Act symbolizes a triad of victories — benefiting green jobs, homeowners, and the environment. Highlighting the importance of these grants, he said, “Green energy jobs are the future — and these grants will help our current energy workers adapt and strengthen their skills in this industry.”
The Office of State and Community Energy Programs within the U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for rolling out this program. It is set up through formula funding, which allows each state energy office to apply for financial support from the State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants program. This program aims to “support education, training, and certification of a new generation of the residential energy efficiency workforce.”
According to the Department of Energy’s guidelines, workers who receive training under these Contractor Training Grants will be fully equipped to execute Home Energy Rebate Programs. The programs are set to distribute an impressive sum of about $9 billion to state energy offices. These funds will be used to retrofit homes and promote their electrification, thereby making them more energy efficient. The deadline for applications is September 30.
The bipartisan Hope for Homes Act was included in the broader framework of the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act. This pivotal legislation works on dual fronts — it aids in reducing energy costs and curtailing greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, it bolsters investment in the workforce, which aligns with Senator Welch’s vision of creating more green jobs in the energy sector, his office affirmed.