IRA HEEHRA rebate program: Easy-to-understand guide

Will brand-new legislation help you save money on energy-efficient home upgrades? Let’s find out.

Will brand-new legislation help you save money on energy-efficient home upgrades? Let’s find out.

HEEHRA rebates are a huge game changer for households with low- and moderate-income levels who want powerful home-energy upgrades.

Consider this your guide to understanding how the HEEHRA program can help you electrify your home and save money. 

This is a brand-new program, and as home energy experts, our team at Sealed works hard to keep you updated on changes in federal rebates and incentives for energy efficiency upgrades. (We’ll regularly update this article as more information on the HEEHRA rebates becomes available.)

Or, if you like, you can skip the research and let us do all the work: Tap here to see if your home qualifies for home-energy upgrades at no upfront cost—eligible rebates included.

Okay, let’s get to it: What is the HEEHRA program and what does it mean for you?

Since this program is brand-new, there’s a lot that’s not yet known.

But here’s what we do know: The energy used to power homes in the U.S. is responsible for one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions (1). 

That’s one of the many reasons the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 created the HOMES rebates program and HEEHRA home weatherization and electrification programs: to tackle those emissions.

But the historic investment in the new HEEHRA rebate program (sometimes called the Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates Program) can not only help you get a more energy efficient home, it can help your house be healthier and more comfortable for you and your family.

The energy used to power U.S. homes is responsible for one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. 


What do you need to know about the Inflation Reduction Act as a homeowner?

Enacted in August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act allocates an impressive $369 billion toward tackling the climate crisis and mitigating the effects of soaring energy costs (and inflation).

Notably, the legislation dedicates $8.8 billion to federal rebates to support households in reducing energy waste and adopting electrification upgrades (like heat pumps—hooray!). 

This is a huge benefit for Americans across the country, and many of the same upgrades that can make your home more energy efficient can also:

  • Make your house more comfortable in winter and summer
  • Reduce excess moisture in your home (which makes your home healthier for you!)
  • Lengthen the life of your roof, HVAC system, and more!

With these groundbreaking investments in residential energy efficiency and electrification, you have the opportunity to transform your home into a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable space for your family, pets, and the environment.

The new HEERHA program gives you the opportunity to transform your home into a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable space for your family, pets, and the environment.

These federal rebates are split between two new programs:

  1. The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act (HEEHRA) program, and
  2. The Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole-House Rebates (HOMES) program. (You can read our guide on the HOMES rebate program here.)

In addition to rebates, homeowners can receive Inflation Reduction Act tax credits for eligible weatherization and heat pump projects. 

Plus, the 25C tax credits are available now. Tap here for the 25c tax credit guide

What is the HEEHRA rebate program?

The Inflation Reduction Act created the brand-new $4.275 billion HEEHRA rebate program. (See how much HEEHRA money your state is getting here.)

Well, what’s HEEHRA anyway? HEEHRA stands for the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act. 

HEEHRA is a voluntary program that covers:

  • 100% of the costs of electrification projects (up to $14,000) for low-income households
  • And 50% of the costs of electrification projects (up to $14,000) for moderate-income households. 

Rebates under the program also cover both the purchase and installation costs of each electrification upgrade. 

Once implemented, this program will provide rebates over a 10-year period to help low- and moderate-income (LMI) households install weatherization and electrification projects—including upgrades like heat-pump HVAC systems and electric cooktops.

A home with dollar bills getting sucked out of the windows.

That means you’ll not only be able to reduce your home’s energy waste, but also improve your comfort, all while saving some money on your home improvement projects—and your energy bills.

It’s estimated that 85% of eligible U.S. homeowners—that’s 103 million homes—might save more than $37 billion a year if they switched to something like an electrified heat-pump HVAC system (2)

So HEEHRA rebates are a big deal at making sure home-energy upgrades are eligible to households with low and moderate income levels.

Your State Energy Office will oversee the HEEHRA rebate program in your state. Each State Energy Office is currently working on how the HEEHRA program is going to be rolled out in their state. (Check back here in the future for updated info!)

Is the HEEHRA program different in every state?

Put simply: Yes. 

Households will qualify for HEEHRA rebates on a state-by-state basis because you must earn a total annual income below 150% of the local median income—which is determined by the state—in order to be eligible. 

To qualify:

  1. Low-income households must make less than 80% of your area’s local median income. Each state is required to set aside about 40% of the rebate funding for low-income households.
  2. Moderate-income households must make between 80% and 150% of your area’s local median income.
  3. Multifamily buildings also qualify for HEEHRA rebates if 50% or more of residents are low-to-middle-income households. And 10% of HEEHRA rebate funding is set aside for low-income multifamily residences. 

Did the HEEHRA program used to be called the Zero-Emissions Homes Act (ZEHA)?

Yes. (That was easy!) Previously, the HEEHRA program was titled the Zero-Emissions Homes Act. So it’s recently undergone a little bit of a rework and rebrand.

How do homeowners benefit from HEEHRA rebates exactly?

The most obvious benefit of HEEHRA rebates is getting powerful home upgrades (which are usually fairly pricey) that can make your home feel better, save energy, and possibly increase your home’s value… all at a lower cost. 

Who doesn’t love saving money, right?

The HEEHRA program will provide point-of-sale rebates for qualified home-electrification projects, including upgrades like:

  • Electric heat pump HVAC systems
  • Electric heat pump water heaters
  • Electric heat pump clothes dryers
  • Electric stoves, cooktops, ranges, and ovens
  • Weatherization upgrades (insulation and air sealing)

If your household qualifies, that means big discounts for projects that make your home cleaner, healthier, and more energy efficient. So not only will you benefit from a discounted home energy upgrade through the HEEHRA rebate, but you’ll also use less energy and make your home healthier.

As the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy highlighted in one of its case studies, weatherization projects have a marked effect on reducing the amount of heat and allergens that enter a home—which, for asthma sufferers, helps reduce the number of attacks significantly (3).

an inner wall with new pink batt insulation

Cut up to 45% of your energy waste in your existing home with the right air sealing and insulation upgrades.

2022 Insulation Industry Opportunity Study

What home upgrades qualify for HEEHRA rebates?

The HEEHRA rebate program applies to qualified home electrification projects, which include:

  • Electric heat pumps for cooling and heating (HVAC)
  • Electric heat pump water heaters
  • Electric stoves, cooktops, ranges, and ovens
  • Electric heat pump clothes dryers
  • Breaker box upgrades
  • Electric wiring upgrades to support home electrification
  • Weatherization upgrades, including air sealing and insulation

Each project has an associated rebate amount. Heat-pump HVAC systems, for instance, can receive an $8,000 rebate, while electric stoves and cooktops can receive an $840 rebate. But the total combined rebate cannot exceed $14,000

For a complete list of rebate amounts, see the rebate table published by the Building Performance Association.

Who is eligible for HEEHRA rebates?

The HEEHRA program is focused on low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, which means households that earn less than 150% of the local median income.

To qualify:

  1. Low-income households must make less than 80% of your local median income.
  2. Moderate-income households must make between 80% and 150% of your local median income.
  3. Multifamily buildings also qualify for HEEHRA rebates provided 50% or more of residents are LMI households.

When will HEEHRA rebates be available?

We don’t quite know yet. The U.S. Department of Energy is still working out the timeline for distributing funds to each State Energy Office. And that also means we don’t know exactly how a home upgrade qualifies for a rebate—at least not yet. 

In other words: How do you even claim the rebate? These details should be worked out by the end of 2023. Keep checking back here, as we’ll update the guide as soon as we know how you can take advantage of HEEHRA rebates.

How is the HEEHRA rebate program different from the HOMES rebate program?

The HEEHRA rebate program is income-restricted; the HOMES rebate program is not. That’s the simple part.

As mentioned in our guide on the HOMES rebate program, homeowners cannot combine HOMES rebates with HEEHRA rebates for the same individual upgrade measure. 

You could not use both, for example, toward the installation of an electric stove or cooktop. 

You are allowed to use both HEERHA (providing your income qualifies you) and HOMES incentives in the same household as long as the incentives are used for different upgrades. 

That means you could use HEEHRA rebates to upgrade your electrical panel, while HOMES rebates could go toward installing a heat pump.

One final point to keep in mind: Because the HEEHRA incentives are set up as point-of-sale discounts, they are not retroactive, such as the rebates offered through the HOMES program.  

Should homeowners wait for energy upgrades until the HEEHRA program fully rolls out?

If you have the means to make an energy upgrade to your home today, you should absolutely not wait until the HEEHRA program fully rolls out.

Waiting to make a home-energy upgrade can ding you in the end. 

As Sealed co-founder and CEO Lauren Salz recently wrote, there are four major reasons why you shouldn’t wait to make energy improvements:

  1. The cost of energy. Energy prices are rising, and the best way to fight rising costs is to reduce your use.
  2. The cost of “greenflation.” As more people begin to take advantage of the IRA’s incentives, America’s energy-efficiency workforce will be challenged to keep up. The harder it is to find available skilled tradespeople, the more money you’ll likely have to spend on the project. Supply and demand.
  3. The cost of regulations. The right models that qualify for certain rebates may be hard to get. National energy-efficiency standards (think MPG requirements for air conditioners and heat pumps) have increased, making 70% of the HVAC industry’s products ineligible to purchase.
  4. The climate costs. Delaying your efficiency upgrades two, three, or even five years can have a big impact on your health at home and your family’s climate contributions.

Besides, local rebate programs and tax incentives are available right now.  

Another thing: Due to the popularity of heat pumps, it’s getting harder and harder to get them installed. It’s not just homeowners either—even factories are rushing to put them in

So waiting to upgrade probably isn’t your best bet since the demand is likely to increase.

Making moves now to make your home feel better—and protect your house against rising energy and upgrade costs—is still a good idea.

And if your house qualifies to work with Sealed, we can help you navigate home energy upgrades without the hassle. Qualify now.

A Sealed installer replaces insulation in an attic.

Get energy upgrades at no upfront cost—eligible rebates included

Tired of an uncomfortable, wasteful house? 

There’s a better way to live. Get powerful energy upgrades with Sealed, and we’ll handle everything with white-glove service—from installation and cleanup to rebate research for your project.

And with our flexible payment options, you can choose a way to pay that works for your budget. 

Better yet? Eligible households get an energy-savings guarantee on their upgrades. That way, you get smart efficiency upgrades and peace of mind. 

If you don’t save energy, we take the hit… not you. 

See if you qualify to work with Sealed

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Sealed.… They’ve become our go-to consultants on any and everything ‘green’ related to our home. They made everything easy and worry-free. I highly recommend working with Sealed.

Nicole T., Sealed customer
July 28, 2023