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Appliance Rebates Plan

To Decarbonize Households, America Needs Incentives for Electric Appliances

By Trevor Higgins, Ari Matusiak, Bianca Majumder, Sam Calisch, and Debbie Lai, June 2021

Because meeting our nation’s climate goals requires electrifying the U.S. economy, the Center for American Progress and Rewiring America teamed up to propose a policy roadmap for federal infrastructure legislation that will enable the electrification of U.S. households. The report, “To Decarbonize Households, America Needs Incentives for Electric Appliances,” calls for new consumer rebates for the purchase and installation of modern electric appliances to make them cost-competitive with their fossil-fueled equivalents. The report identifies space heating, water heating, and cooking as prime targets for these rebates, along with supporting upgrades to breaker boxes where necessary. Further, the report identifies the need for elevated rebate levels for low- and moderate-income households.

The proposed rebates are critical to meeting decarbonization targets, and would unlock energy bill savings for U.S. households, create new jobs, and make indoor air healthier.

Recommendations

Deliver an average rebate incentive of $6,000 to participating low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, and an average of $4,200 to non-LMI households, to cover the purchase and installation costs of electrified appliances. More efficient electric appliances then provide the opportunity for lower ongoing monthly utility bills.

*The installation rebates reimburse 100 percent of the total installation costs for electric replacements in LMI households, and 50 percent of the total installation costs in non-LMI households.

Table that breaks down the average proposed rebates for LMI and non-LMI households. The authors propose the following rebate amounts for installation:
• 50 percent coverage up to $2,500 for the installation of heat pump space heaters and
100 percent coverage up to $5,000 for LMI households
• 50 percent coverage up to $500 for the installation of heat pump water heaters and
100 percent coverage up to $1,000 for LMI households
9 Center for American Progress | To Decarbonize Households, America Needs Incentives for Electric Appliances
• 50 percent coverage up to $500 for the installation of induction ranges/cooktops
and 100 percent coverage up to $1,000 for LMI households
• 50 percent coverage up to $1,000 for the installation of breaker boxes and 100
percent coverage up to $2,000 for LMI households if the installation of any of these
rebated electric appliances requires an upgraded breaker box, acknowledging the
often more complicated and expensive wiring and other site-specific considerations
in these homes
Additionally, this program would include the following rebates:
• $1,500 bonus for whole-home conversion
• $1,000 bonus for homes in cold climates
• $500 early adopter bonus; $1,000 for LMI households
• $1,500 rooftop solar bonus

Media Coverage

  • Bloomberg Government
    Bloomberg Government

    Kellie Lunney and Zachary Sherwood

    Energy Briefing: Groups Push Home Appliance Transition Rebates

    "Decarbonization goals mean robust investments in electrification across the U.S. economy, including in people’s homes. That starts with more energy-efficient heaters, stovetops, and breaker boxes, according to the analysis from the Center for American Progress and Rewiring America, a nonprofit advocating for the electrification of the economy."

Press Releases

  • Center for American Progress
    Center for American Progress

    June 3, 2021

    CAP and Rewiring America Announce Plan to Decarbonize Households, Offer Rebates to Switch From Gas to Electric Appliances

    "Today, the Center for American Progress and Rewiring America released a new plan that would offer Americans incentives to switch from gas to electric appliances to make a difference in fighting climate change and air pollution. The plan to have households replace just four appliances—heat pump space heaters, heat pump water heaters, induction cooktops/ranges, and upgraded breaker boxes—would also create millions of new jobs and lower monthly bills for most Americans."