07.27.21

Whitehouse Supports Creation of New Rebate Program For Electric Home Appliances

Zero-Emission Homes Act will make the economic, environmental, and health benefits of electrification more affordable and accessible to all Americans

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has joined U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) in introducing the Zero-Emission Homes Act to provide rebates for the purchase and installation of electric appliances and equipment in homes across the country, with additional support for low- and moderate- income households.

“The economic, health, and environmental benefits of electric home appliances are widely known,” said Whitehouse. “Our Zero-Emission Homes Program would help cover the costs of upgrading to cleaner electric appliances for Rhode Islanders. This is something we can do right now to reduce our carbon footprint and get new, high-functioning appliances into homes.”

The Zero-Emission Homes Act would:

• Make electrification easier and more affordable for all Americans to meet the nation’s climate targets.

• Define products and projects associated with household electrification as “qualified electrification projects” or “QEPs.”

• Establish a Zero-Emission Homes Program that provides households with rebates for the purchase and installation of QEPs. The federal zero-emission home program would provide up to $10,000 in immediate price relief for the purchase and installation of select QEPs with additional amounts for low-and-moderate income households and multifamily buildings.

Clean, electric appliances for heating, cooling, cooking, and other household functions are available now and, in most instances, perform as well, if not better, than their fossil-fuel counterparts. Electric appliances also avoid the harmful health effects -- such as childhood asthma -- increasingly associated with the burning of fossil fuels in homes.

Electrification also offers enormous economic opportunities. According to a new report from the non-profit Rewiring America, Bringing Infrastructure Home: A 50-State Report on U.S. Home Electrification, 85 percent of households in America would save money on monthly energy bills today if they were using modern all-electric equipment. Manufacturing, installing, and servicing these appliances could also create new jobs with the potential to pay family-sustaining wages.

The Zero-Emission Homes Act is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.). The bill has received support from nearly 200 organizations and nonprofits. Find a one-pager of the Zero-Emission Homes Act here.