What the Inflation Reduction Act Could Mean for Your Next Appliance Purchase

·6 min read

You might be eligible for a rebate when you buy an electric range, cooktop, or wall oven

By Paul Hope

The Inflation Reduction Act could soon help save you money if you’re replacing a kitchen appliance.

The landmark legislation includes rebates and tax credits for bigger purchases, such as energy-efficient heat pumps and electric vehicles. But one lesser-known provision allocates funding for states to provide rebates for the purchase of new electric appliances, including cooktops, ranges (aka stoves), and wall ovens.

That’s great news for anyone thinking about making the switch from gas to electric cooking. “There’s this big misconception that electric ranges don’t cook as well as gas,” says Shanika Whitehurst, CR’s associate director of product sustainability on the research and testing team. “But the technology has improved to the point where electric and especially induction ranges and cooktops cook every bit as well, if not better than gas.” (Check out the surprising things a CR reporter learned when he switched from a gas stove to an induction range.)

Whitehurst also notes that if you qualify for the full rebate, you could effectively get one of the top-rated electric ranges from CR’s tests for just a couple hundred dollars—or even less.

Stephen Walls, building decarbonization advocate for the Climate & Clean Energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), says his organization was “really happy to see electrification called out specifically for rebates.” Gas-burning appliances, including ranges and cooktops, release methane gas into the environment, and according to the NRDC’s estimations, the emissions they produce annually in the United States are roughly equal to the climate impact of tailpipe emissions of 500,000 cars. While that may not seem impressive compared with the environmental benefits of buying an electric vehicle, every bit counts: Replacing gas ranges with electrics provides an opportunity to cut those emissions, especially as the legislation also includes programs to ensure that an ever-larger share of electricity in the United States comes from renewable energy, like solar and wind.

While the exact terms of the rebates will be decided at the state level, the Inflation Reduction Act does provide a rough framework. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s in the Inflation Reduction Act for Electric Ranges?

The legislation includes $4.5 billion in funding for states to provide rebates for the purchase of new electric appliances, including ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens. The Department of Energy will allocate funds to individual states, and each state will choose how to use those funds, sticking to the parameters set forth for income requirements and caps on individual rebates.

You could receive, for example, a rebate of up to $840 on a new electric cooking appliance and up to an additional $500 to help cover the costs of converting from natural gas or propane to electric. If you need to upgrade your home’s electrical panel in order to accommodate an electric range (or any other electric appliance upgrade covered by the Inflation Reduction Act, such as certain electric heat pumps or electric-heat-pump clothes dryers), you could get a tax credit of up to $4,000 for that expense as well.

Will You Qualify for a Rebate if You Buy a New Electric Range?

It depends on how much you earn and where you live. Your individual state will set the exact framework, but the guidelines in the legislation call for the rebate amount to be dependent on how your household income compares with the median household income (HHI) of a particular area to be determined by the state. For instance, it may pertain to your ZIP code, county, or the entire state. If you earn:

  • Up to 80 percent of the median HHI in your area, you get up to 100 percent of the cost of the new appliance (or up to $840, whichever is less).

  • More than 80 percent but less than 150 percent of the HHI in your area, you get 50 percent of the cost of the new appliance.

  • Above 150 percent of the median HHI in your area, you do not qualify for a rebate. 

How About if You're Replacing an Electric Range With a New One?

As written, the legislation does not disqualify you from receiving the rebate if you’re replacing an old electric range with a new model. But the answer depends upon where you live. “With limited funds to go around, there could be differences from state to state,” says the NRDC’s Walls.

If a state anticipates lots of interest in the program, it could, along with DOE guidance, limit the credits only to gas-range replacements, in order to maximize environmental benefits before the funding runs out. Or, a state could open the program to cover those replacing an existing electric range, but with reduced benefits.

Does an Induction Range Qualify?

Yes, induction ranges and cooktops run on electricity, so they count. Better still, induction ranges and cooktops are also the most energy-efficient option you can buy, according to the NRDC, so while there’s no additional rebate for opting for induction, you may see some modest extra savings on your electric bill, beyond what you’d save with an energy-efficient electric smoothtop range. As a group, many are among the best performers of any ranges tested at Consumer Reports.

How Do You Apply for a Rebate?

Once the DOE allocates funding to individual states, those states will still need time to set up these programs. Once they’re up and running, the DOE suggests visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, which tracks tax incentives and credits related to energy efficiency in all 50 states. Click on your state to check whether they’ve rolled out the program locally, and follow the steps listed.

Save any paperwork related to the purchase and installation of your qualifying appliance. Follow your state’s specific steps, including filing any applications. You’ll likely receive the rebate at the point of sale or in the form of a check or direct deposit. But keep in mind your state will set specific parameters. If you upgrade your home’s electrical panel to accommodate an electric cooking appliance, you’ll likely receive that money back in the form of a tax credit when you file your state and federal income taxes next year.



More from Consumer Reports:
Top pick tires for 2016
Best used cars for $25,000 and less
7 best mattresses for couples

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.