WASHINGTON [05.04.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined her colleagues to introduce legislation that would reduce residential building emissions and increase energy security. The bill, authored by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), would expand incentives for manufacturers and distributors of American-made building electrification products, such as HVAC equipment and water heating appliances.
“The transition to clean energy is happening, the question is whether our country leads or follows. I want us to lead,” said Senator Smith. “If we do nothing, climate change will be an economic, environmental and public health disaster. The good news is that taking action on climate also presents an enormous economic opportunity. This legislation will incentivize adoption of heat pumps, which will help us use American-made clean electricity that increases our energy independence, lowers energy costs for families, reduces pollution, and protects the planet.”
Currently, seven percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from residential buildings using fossil fuels for space heating, water heating, and space cooling. In addition to transforming the heat pump market, encouraging home electrification, and improving grid reliability, this legislation would also lower energy costs for consumers.
The Installing Clean Efficient Energy Hastens Our Transition (ICEE HOT) Act will also require that 40 percent of funds be used to provide rebates to disadvantaged businesses or entities that employ disadvantaged individuals. Additionally, the bill would support unionized labor by directing 40 percent of rebate funds to manufacturers and distributors that meet strict labor standards and employ unionized workers.
Additional co-sponsors of the include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).
“American consumers are paying too much for dirty energy that pollutes their communities and undermines the health of their families. It’s time that we power our homes with clean, affordable and reliable American-made energy,” said Senator Markey. “The ICEE HOT Act would transition homes across America away from costly, dirty fossil fuels towards cheaper, cleaner renewable energy. With this legislation, we can put Americans to work manufacturing the clean energy revolution.”
“We need to tackle the climate crisis head on. And that’s why I’m glad to introduce this legislation with Senator Markey and my colleagues that helps reduce our reliance of fossil fuels, move towards home electrification, and lower costs for families. Let’s get this done,” said Senator Warren.
“For too long, corporate greed has resulted in American consumers paying overly high prices for energy,” said Senator Sanders. “To make matters worse, the pollution from dirty fossil fuels has only worsened the climate crisis. The time is long overdue to transition American homes away from costly fossil fuels towards energy efficiency and affordable, renewable energy. This legislation will reduce energy costs, create jobs as we retrofit our buildings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Our nation must transition away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to strengthen our energy independence, and electrifying our homes is essential to this transition,” said Senator Booker. “This legislation will offer businesses much-needed incentives to support more domestic production and distribution of zero emission home appliances like heat pumps and induction stoves, with a targeted investment to disadvantaged businesses. These critical incentives will also help consumers save money by reducing costs on new home heating and cooling equipment and other essential appliances.”
The ICEE HOT Act would appropriate $10 billion for manufacturer and distributor rebates from fiscal year 2023 to 2030. The legislation would offer benefits to stakeholders across the supply chain, including:
- Manufacturer rebates that support original equipment manufacturers
- Distributor incentives that encourage distributors to provide zero emission home heating systems when residents are faced with replacing HVAC and water heating systems
- Rebates available for building electrification products such as residential air source heat pumps, cold climate heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, heat pump clothes dryers, induction or noninduction electric stoves, and smart panels
- Cost benefits to residents and homeowners
The ICEE HOT Act is endorsed by Earthjustice, Rocky Mountain Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and Rewiring America.
“Outdated furnaces powered by oil, propane, and gas pollute our homes, contaminate our air, and disproportionately harm underrepresented communities,” said Earthjustice Associate Legislative Representative Jake Kornack. “Heat pumps are a gamechanger and provide a more affordable and cleaner alternative to heat and cool our homes. We thank Senator Markey for putting forward this innovative solution to make heat pumps more affordable for American families that will result in lower energy bills for consumers while paving the way for a clean energy future.”
“Providing incentives to increase the manufacturing of efficient electric appliances – like heat pumps and induction cooktops – will make homes healthier for American families, create good paying jobs, and boost our economic and energy security. These clean energy technologies will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gas, they will provide a myriad of health and environmental benefits to make our communities more resilient into the future,” said Rocky Mountain Institute Federal Policy Manager Alisa Petersen.