Billions in New DOE Home Energy Retrofit Programs and Workforce Funding: What States Need To Know

A year after the landmark Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) became law, the federal government and states are moving quickly to deploy $8.8 billion in rebates for home energy efficiency and electrification projects. The goal is to help American households save money on energy bills, upgrade to clean energy equipment, improve energy efficiency, and reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution. The IRA also includes $200 million for the State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants to help states train, test, and certify residential workforce key to successful implementation of the rebate programs. These programs will save households up to $1 billion on energy bills each year and support over 50,000 U.S. jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). As the DOE moves quickly to get funds out the door, what do states need to know about the ins and outs of the programs? What elements are must-haves for success? And what can states do ensure all people benefit? Tune in to find out!

Guest Bios:

Karen Zelmar is a program manager in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of State and Community Energy Programs. She joined DOE in 2023 and currently leads the Home Energy Rebate Programs authorized by the Inflation Reduction Act. Previously, Karen worked as the Senior Vice President of Network Planning at Volta Charging and as the Director of Clean Energy Programs at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), where she leveraged her experience in the technology industry while pursuing her passion for energy and sustainability. Karen has previously held leadership positions at multiple technology providers including AOL and Navteq, before moving into the energy industry. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University’s Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and an MBA from the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Mary MacPherson is a program manager in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of State and Community Energy Programs. She joined DOE in 2022 and manages several energy efficiency workforce development programs for states, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and their partners. Previously, Mary worked at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy for almost a decade. In her former role, she conducted research and provided technical assistance on inclusive workforce development programs, rural energy efficiency, and state efficiency policies. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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