ICYMI: Rep. Pappas, Alderwoman Fajardo, & NH Climate Leaders Highlight Local Benefits, Cost Savings of the Inflation Reduction Act

Inflation Reduction Act Offers Relief for Granite Staters Hit Hard by Soaring Energy Prices, While Creating Good-Paying Local Jobs in Growing Clean Energy Industry

MANCHESTER, N.H. – This morning, Representative Chris Pappas joined Alderwoman Christine Fajardo and League of Conservation Voters New Hampshire State Director Rob Werner to highlight the local benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act for Granite State families. They met with Chase Pennoyer, vice president of operations for Resilient Buildings Group, a New Hampshire-based company specializing in large commercial, residential energy efficiency projects, and affordable housing. Pennoyer led a short briefing discussing how the $370 billion in clean energy investments contained in the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act, in conjunction with funding in the New Hampshire Saves program, will benefit the community and others like it throughout the state.

The historic federal climate legislation was recently signed into law and offers much-needed relief for Granite Staters, where energy prices are significantly higher than the national average and many families were crushed this summer when energy prices doubled. The clean energy tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act will slash energy prices, saving families money while fighting the worsening effects of climate change. These investments will have ripple effects throughout the state economy, bringing good-paying jobs to New Hampshire’s already robust clean energy industry. 

New Hampshire is already a leader in clean energy jobs. The Granite State employed nearly 16,000 workers in 2021 in the clean energy industry, according to a 2022 report by E2. This sector grew by nearly 4% in 2021, and the investments from the Inflation Reduction Act coupled with the additional private sector investment, will sustain and expand upon this growth, bringing thousands of good-paying jobs to the Granite State.

Here are some highlights from the event:
Representative Chris Pappas discussed how the cost savings coming from the clean energy investments in the Inflation Reduction Act make a huge difference for folks trying to make ends meet.  Pappas said, “For a tenant, they’re paying their rent, they’re paying their utilities out of the same pocket so making sure that costs are affordable in both spaces is really important for New Hampshire, a state where we know that housing prices have been driven higher, where we’ve got such a low vacancy rate, where we’ve seen a huge spike in utility costs. So the kind of federal help that brings about a project like this addresses both sides of it. Things like the home program and the community development block grant are used to help rehabilitate this and support a ton of different Neighborworks projects, but then to have this partnership to make sure that tenants have affordable electricity and more efficient use of energy is critically important to help meet the needs of today.”

Rob Werner, State Director at the New Hampshire Conservation Voters, emphasized the importance of ensuring people are aware of the tax credits and other cost savings in the Inflation Reduction Act. Werner said, “we need to make sure that people know about it, […] particularly on the individual consumer side with those tax credits for heat pumps and for additional [energy efficient] appliances, and amping up the [solar] panels.”

Chase Pennoyer, vice president of operations at Resilient Buildings Group, noted how the Inflation Reduction Act will work in tandem with the clean energy provisions of the New Hampshire Saves program. Pennoyer said, “A lot of it comes down to calculated or modeled savings for the measures, which the IRA also stresses that each measure has to be modeled and the savings have to be calculated. So I think [there] will be a lot of two-birds-one-stone scenarios so it will save costs on the implementation side, the customers will get maximum benefits, and at the end of the day energy efficiency will be more cost effective, which is what we all want.”

During the tour, Alderwoman  Christine Fajardo asked about efforts to remediate lead in older buildings where these projects are taking place. Pennoyer noted that this site was found to be lead-free and “a lot of the contractors that are actually installing [these projects] are [certified] lead-safe workers.”