May 2024 Newsletter


Setting a Course for the Fast-Evolving Incentives Landscape

Influencing vs. Merely Accessing Available Funding Programs

By Ravi Malhotra

Originally published in NH&RA's Tax Credit Advisor, May 2024

Government agencies are still racing to get their Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funds out the door, and they remain open to input from various stakeholders to help guide this process. In advocating for increased investment in the multifamily affordable housing market, stakeholders can target key pain points and unrealized opportunities for agencies, utilities, and program implementers, to facilitate a program design that meets the needs of the multifamily sector.

For example, this is the ideal time to convince your local utility to expand or launch a multifamily-focused program. For utilities, leveraging BIL/IRA funds and activities means they can get credit for a huge amount of energy savings. The Designing, Launching, and Managing Utility Programs for Multifamily Housing white paper ( can be a helpful tool in multifamily stakeholders’ advocacy efforts.

The benefits of such collaboration for multifamily housing are direct, and significant, as properties can access a range of green solutions that reduce their operation and maintenance costs; increase property value and operating income; extend properties’ lifetimes; and increase health, comfort, safety and affordability for low-income tenants. Stakeholders can leverage this period of rapid change to push states and utilities, because issues like environmental protection, equity, economic development, and decarbonization, are moving to the forefront. Higher equipment efficiency standards (e.g., federal lighting standards) have increased energy performance baselines, cutting into the efficiency savings that can be claimed on these measures. Demand for cleaner or renewable energy continues to grow around the country, placing greater emphasis on energy efficiency and load control measures that reduce energy consumption when renewables are not available. Multifamily-focused programs that leverage IRA and BIL funds can be a "silver bullet" for utilities struggling to create cost-effective programs, while states with BIL/IRA funds can leverage the expertise and network of existing utility programs to launch their programs. It’s the perfect time to establish symbiotic relationships. Read more here


In a victory for health, clean air and water, and the climate, the last New England coal-fired power plants will shut down after years of litigation and public opposition.

As part of an agreement that resolves litigation brought by CLF and the Sierra Club, Granite Shore Power has agreed to cease operation of its coal-fired boilers at Merrimack Station, the 460MW power plant on the Merrimack River in Bow, and Schiller Station (135 MW) in Portsmouth.

“The end of coal in New Hampshire, and for the New England region as a whole, is now certain and in sight,” said Tom Irwin, Vice President Conservation Law Foundation in New Hampshire. “Now we must vigorously push for the phaseout of other polluting fuels like oil and gas.  New England is positioned to be a leader in building a future where our energy comes from 100% clean sources, and fossil fuels no longer pollute the climate and threaten the health of our communities.” Read more here


California Approves DER Schedules to Avoid Interconnection Delays

The California Public Utilities Commission just issued a significant decision allowing renewable energy systems to be approved to interconnect to the electric grid using an energy export schedule (known as a Limited Generation Profile or LGP) that is designed to avoid grid impacts. This approach, which leverages California’s public grid data, can reduce the need for costly infrastructure upgrades and support higher levels of renewables on the grid.

The decision is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is a major milestone in enabling distributed energy resources (DERs), like solar PV and energy storage, to operate in flexible ways that align with conditions on the grid. The decision was significantly shaped by recommendations from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), an independent nonprofit that has been actively engaged for over a decade in reforming California’s interconnection policies to enable more efficient clean energy development while maintaining grid safety and reliability. Read more here


ICAST Policy Blog

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Competition Selectees Chosen.....

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its selections under the $27-billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).

Eight awards totaling $20 billion, were made under the National Clean Investment Fund (NCIF) and Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA):

  • The goal is to create a national clean financing network for clean energy and climate solutions across sectors, especially in low-income (LI) and disadvantaged communities (DACs).
  • Selected grantees include Climate United Fund ($6.97 billion award), Coalition for Green Capital ($5 billion award), Opportunity Finance Network ($2.29 billion award), Native CDFI Network (400 million award). Follow this link for the full list.
  • Over $14 billion will be dedicated toward LI and DACs, including over $4 billion for rural communities as well as almost $1.5 billion for Tribal communities.
  • Selectees will reduce or avoid up to 40 million metric tons of climate pollution annually and mobilize almost $7 of private capital for every $1 of federal funds, turning $20 billion of public funds into roughly $150 billion of public and private investment over the next seven years.

Sixty awards, totaling $7 billion, were made under the Solar for All (SFA) competition:

  • The program will provide grants, low-cost financing, and services such as siting, permitting, and interconnection. SFA is estimated to deliver solar to more than 900,000 LI and disadvantaged households nationwide, expanding existing solar programs and launching new ones. At least 25 states and territories are launching programs in regions where there previously has never existed a substantial LI solar program. Read more here

Update on ICAST’s Heat Pump Training Program

Audrey Knox | Workforce Training Manager

Ms. Knox manages the implementation of ICAST’s workforce training initiatives in collaboration with ICAST’s partners across the country.

Stakeholders across the country recognize that heat pumps are the future of HVAC and domestic hot water. Thankfully, we see growing awareness and adoption of these technologies—note, for example, that heat pumps have outsold gas furnaces for two years in a row. ICAST’s focus for these systems is scaling them in multifamily properties, where adoption lags behind single-family homes. Additionally, we are continuing our efforts to train contractors to design, install, and service heat pump HVAC solutions. The Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have catalyzed an intense demand for workers; one recent report estimates a worker shortage of 1.1 million people across 20 occupations crucial to the Biden administration’s clean energy agenda.

ICAST is currently in the third year of its U.S. Dept. of Energy-funded program to develop and disseminate a curriculum on cold-climate air source heat pumps (ccASHPs). ​​Read more here


ICAST Grows Library of Resources for Scaling Clean Energy in Underserved Communities

New Community Solar Resources: ICAST works nationally with disadvantaged communities (DACs) to develop their assets for solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS). Recently, we published a new web page discussing our work. The page features:

  • Our community-scale solar PV and BESS projects with Tribal and utility clients and
  • A new guidance document containing best practices and recommendations for states seeking to scale solar to benefit low-income populations in multifamily affordable housing.

Updated Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) Calculator: To help simplify the process of applying for IRA and BIL funds, ICAST created an Instant Cost/Benefit Estimate Calculator, where property owners can quickly estimate the federal funds available to “go green.” Read more here

Sign Up for the ICAST Newsletter

Gain access to job and internship postings, innovative industry news, and
information about ICAST events.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.