DOE will no longer accept applications for the 2023 program year of the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program after February 29, 2024, at 11:59 PM ET. Applications for the 2023 program year will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until that time and only applications submitted in categories with remaining capacity will be considered. Updates about how much capacity remains available by category can be accessed via the Program Capacity dashboard.
The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda – a transformative set of investments designed to create jobs, lower costs for American families, and spur an economic revitalization in communities that have historically been left behind. The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) established the program under section 48(e), which was added to the Internal Revenue Code by the Inflation Reduction Act, to promote cost-saving clean energy investments in low-income communities, on Indian land, as part of affordable housing developments, and benefitting low-income households.
DOE’s Office of Energy Justice and Equity administers the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS.
The program prioritizes:
- Increased adoption of and access to renewable energy facilities in underserved and environmental justice communities.
- Encouraging new market participants.
- Providing substantial benefits to underserved communities and individuals who have been historically marginalized from economic opportunities and overburdened by environmental impacts.
The bonus credit provides a 10 or 20 percentage point increase to the investment tax credit for qualified solar and wind energy facilities with a maximum net output of less than five megawatts (AC). DOE will review applications and make recommendations to the IRS, which will allocate to up to 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of eligible solar and wind capacity per year.
A 10-percentage point increase is available to eligible solar and wind facilities that are installed in low-income communities or on Indian land and a 20 percentage point credit increase is available to eligible solar and wind facilities that are part of a qualified low-income residential building or a qualified low-income economic benefit project.
The annual Capacity Limitation is divided across each facility category as follows:
|Category 1: Located in a Low-Income Community
|Category 2: Located on Indian Land
|Category 3: Qualified Low-Income Residential Building Project
|Category 4: Qualified Low-Income Economic Benefit Project
DOE began accepting applications across all four categories of the Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program on October 19, 2023. For the 2023 program year, at least 50% of the capacity of each category will be reserved for projects meeting certain ownership and/or geographic selection criteria as outlined in the Final Regulations and Revenue Procedure.
- Applicants must submit information for each facility for which they are seeking an allocation. Applications will require information such as the applicable category, ownership, location, facility size/capacity, whether the applicant or facility meet additional selection criteria, and other information.
- Applicants will complete a series of attestations provided in the online portal and upload certain documentation (in order to demonstrate project maturity).
- Each individual completing an application on behalf of their organization will need a Login.gov account in order to complete an application.
For more information regarding application requirements and the application submission and selection process, see the Program Guidance and Program Resources below.
- Program Capacity Dashboard
- Maps for Category 1 and Geographic Selection Criteria
- Eligible Covered Housing Programs for Category 3
- Household Income Limits for Category 4
- See the 2023 Section 8 Income Limits table to verify income limits at or below the qualifying income level.
- Applicant Checklist
- IRS Factsheet
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Applicant User Guide
- Reminders for Applicants
DOE and the U.S. Department of the Treasury hosted a virtual informational webinar for potential applicants on September 29, 2023. Links to the webinar recording and webinar slides are below.
Consumer Disclosure Forms
Applicants entering into agreements with consumers as part of a community solar/wind subscription, lease, or power purchase agreement (PPA), must attest that consumer disclosures informing customers of their legal rights and protections have been provided to customers that have signed up and will be provided to future customers, in accordance with program requirements. Applicants are encouraged to use their applicable state-approved disclosure forms where available or may use other forms of similar substance. Example consumer disclosure forms are provided below. These forms are provided as a resource only and do not constitute legal advice. The terms of this form should be modified, as appropriate, to meet the legal requirements of your applicable jurisdiction. If you have questions about the terms of these forms, please consult a lawyer.
- Community Subscription Disclosure Form - Coming Soon
- Consumer Lease Disclosure Form - Coming Soon
- Consumer Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Disclosure Form - Coming Soon
- U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS, and Department of Energy Announce Closing of Applications for First Year of Groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act Program for Solar and Wind Energy in Low-Income Communities
- U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS, and Department of Energy Announce Remarkable Demand for Solar and Wind Energy in Low-Income Communities Thanks to Groundbreaking Inflation Reduction Act Program
- Treasury, IRS Release Final Rules and Guidance on Investing in America Program to Spur Clean Energy Investments in Underserved Communities
- Biden-Harris Administration Announces Historic Investments to Support America’s Energy and Industrial Communities
For assistance, you may contact the DOE Support Desk at 1 (888) 415-0131. For program related questions, please email EJBonusSupport@hq.doe.gov. Any questions requesting tax-related guidance or tax filing support should be directed to the Applicant’s tax professional, accountant, or attorney.