Start Your Energy Savings Now!

These energy-saving provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act take effect immediately

With the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law, some sections of the new law that expand tax incentives and rebates for making homes more energy efficient take effect immediately. 

The residential energy efficiency tax credit has been tripled from 10% to 30% for qualified energy efficiency improvements, and the previous lifetime cap on how much you savings can claim through this tax credit has been replaced with an annual limit depending on what items are installed. For big purchases like heat pumps, the annual limit is the lesser of $2,000 or 30% of the cost.

With the lifetime cap on the residential energy efficiency tax credit now scrapped, the annual limit resets every year, so you can incrementally make improvements to your home’s energy efficiency every year.

One good way to get started is by bringing in an expert to conduct a home energy audit to find out where you can make improvements in energy efficiency.  Under the new rules, the cost of this audit is now eligible for a tax credit. You can get started on your home energy audit and maybe some smaller weatherization work this fall using your 2022 tax credit, and then you can come back next year with a list of projects to use your 2023 tax credit.

This bill also extends residential clean energy tax credits that were set to phase out. Investments in home solar systems, solar hot water heaters, fuel cells, small wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps are now eligible for a 30% tax credit instead of the 26% rate that was in the process of being phased out. That 30% rate will now continue through the end of 2032.

With the Inflation Reduction Act, these newly-expanded tax credits are ready to start helping more homeowners save money on energy bills right away.

How The Inflation Reduction Act Benefits Today’s High School Graduates

It’s about damn time! Turn up the legislation, let’s celebrate! 

The Inflation Reduction Act includes $369 billion to tackle the climate crisis – the most significant investment in the United States. Regardless if today’s high school graduate goes to college, trade school, or enters the workforce, they will benefit from this historic bill that will make their futures healthier and cleaner. Don’t believe us? Take a look:

Whether a high school grad is living in university housing, finding an apartment with friends, or staying home to help family, they can take advantage of the $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs. This program helps low-income consumers to electrify home appliances and for energy-efficient retrofits. Energy-efficient appliances use less energy, cut energy bills, and pollute less. 

With all the time they are able to save by not worrying about a decaying planet, these young adults will be able to develop their academic and/or professional skills and land their first job! These young adults will have the opportunity to choose from millions of good-paying clean energy jobs that the Inflation Reduction Act helped create. The legislation builds a new clean energy manufacturing economy by investing in refurbishing old factories, building new factories, requiring high wages, and mandating apprenticeship training for companies using clean energy tax credits.

These jobs will give them the ability to save for the future, to buy a car perhaps!,  The Inflation Reduction Act offers $4,000 in consumer tax credits for used electric vehicles. Switching to an EV saves more money with lower maintenance and refueling costs than gasoline cars. 

After working and developing professionally, these young adults can help their communities tackle environmental injustices by using part of the $3 billion in Environmental & Climate Justice Block Grants from the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce pollution and improve public health. They can also use the $3 billion funding for the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants Program to support neighborhood equity, safety, and affordable transportation access.

Whether they live in a rural town, a suburban neighborhood, or an urban city, these young adults will be able to breathe fresher air and spend less time worrying about the possibility of evacuating from extreme weather events. The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding to support healthy, fire-resilient forests, forest conservation, and urban tree planting. By 2030 – when today’s high school graduates are in their late twenties – harmful greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 40%, preventing the Earth from heating up further.

Of course, much more can still be done. Over some food from farms and ranches that benefited from the more than $20 billion to develop climate-smart agriculture practices, young adults will be able to brainstorm ideas on how else to push Congress to take more bold climate action. 

Benefits In The Inflation Reduction Act That Are Accessible For All

While the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides many direct incentives to home and car owners, every American will benefit from the climate provisions in this new law. From expanding clean energy access to disadvantaged communities, to helping everyone breathe cleaner air, the Inflation Reduction Act will bring us one step closer to securing a livable planet for generations to come.

Reduces Air Pollution:
More than 40% of Americans currently live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution, with communities of color disproportionately affected. The Inflation Reduction Act will fund programs to reduce air pollution, improve air quality monitoring, and to shore up enforcement technology. It will invest $11.5 billion in industrial emissions reduction programs, $406 million to address air pollution at large polluting facilities and schools, and fund zero-emissions technologies at U.S. ports. In addition, it will establish the first ever methane fee to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for excess emissions. These pollution reduction provisions are estimated to save nearly 4,000 lives annually by 2030 and prevent up to 100,000 asthma attacks a year by 2030. 

Addresses Widespread Drought:
Currently, more than half of the contiguous U.S. is experiencing drought, with climate change expected to increase the severity in coming years. The Inflation Reduction Act provides $4 billion for drought relief programs, $550 million for domestic water programs in disadvantaged communities, and $12.5 million in emergency drought funding for Tribes. 

Protects Our Public Lands:
The Inflation Reduction Act will allocate $1 billion to public lands conservation efforts, and invest in federal forest restoration programs. Not only do these investments keep our public lands beautiful for all to enjoy, but they also help clean the air by conserving green spaces and forests. The bill will also provide $2.6 billion for coastal climate resilience programs to mitigate climate change.

Connects Divided Communities:
The Inflation Reduction Act includes $3 billion for reconnecting communities divided by highways and other infrastructure through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants program. The funding would expand efforts contained in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, and could be used to add trails, bike lanes, and provide better connections to public transit. 

Lowers Costs For Consumers:
As the name suggests, the Inflation Reduction Act will ease inflationary pressures by lowering some of the biggest costs Americans face, including energy, healthcare and prescription drugs. Over the next few years, the provisions in this bill will help reduce inflation in the economy as a whole, helping save consumers money. 

Passes Energy Savings On To Renters:
More than one-third of Americans rent their homes, most of whom face barriers in participating in clean energy and energy efficiency programs as homeowners do. Over 30% of renters report that their home is overdue for energy-efficient upgrades, which landlords may be disinclined to invest in due to the high costs. However, the Inflation Reduction Act will allow landlords and homeowners to save on average $1,800 a year through incentives to install energy efficient appliances, rooftop solar and battery storage systems. These savings can be passed onto renters through lower energy bills.

Provides Funding For Local Communities:
The Inflation Reduction Act will establish grants for states, municipalities and Tribes to implement plans to reduce climate pollution, allowing local communities to target populations that will benefit the most. The bill establishes climate justice block grants for programs to reduce pollution and climate risks in low-income communities and communities of color. It also will establish a loan program to support energy development projects on Tribal lands, as well as loans for renewable energy projects in rural communities. 

The Inflation Reduction Act In Your Neighborhood

It’s a beautiful (and healthier) day in this neighborhood! 

With $369 billion to tackle the climate crisis, the Inflation Reduction Act will help communities across the United States to have healthier and more resilient neighborhoods.  

Rural Communities: 

The Inflation Reduction Act will benefit rural communities across the U.S. that have faced damages and devastating losses due to extreme weather events fueled by climate change. The legislation provides more than $20 billion to develop climate-smart agriculture practices. These climate-smart agriculture practices could include improving soil health, increasing crop yields, reducing fertilizer costs, increasing resilience to extreme weather, or diversifying income streams for farmers and ranchers.

Rural communities have also struggled with wildfires which have increased in severity and frequency due to human-caused climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act provides $5 billion in grants to protect communities from wildfires. Some of these grants invest in forest health projects on both public and private lands and equip firefighters and rural communities to be more resilient to wildfires.

The Inflation Reduction Act also includes $14 billion to lower costs for families and support good-paying clean energy jobs in rural communities. The legislation supports rural electric cooperatives transition to cleaner energy, which will reduce harmful emissions and energy costs. It will also help rural communities, farmers, and small business owners invest in renewable energy and be more energy efficient.

The Inflation Reduction Act invests in climate resilience programs for tribal communities, who historically have been forced into rural regions with extreme environments. Funding will go to drought mitigation programs, fish hatcheries, home electrification, and loans for energy development.

Suburban Communities:

Residents in suburban communities will be able to breathe healthier and cleaner air since the Inflation Reduction Act provides funding to reduce emissions from vehicles that contribute to harmful air pollution. It allocates $3 billion for the U.S. Postal Service to electrify its delivery fleet and install charging infrastructure. It also provides funding for clean heavy-duty vehicles such as school buses, transit buses, and garbage trucks.

The Inflation Reduction Act also extends the $7,500 rebate for purchasing a new EV through 2032 and establishes a $4,000 rebate for purchasing a used EV. This will be even more beneficial to residents who need to commute to work by saving them more money with lower maintenance and refueling costs than gasoline cars. 

Residents in suburban communities will also be able to save money by taking advantage of the $9 billion in consumer home energy rebate programs, which focus on low-income consumers, to electrify home appliances and for energy-efficient retrofits. Energy-efficient appliances use less energy, cut energy bills, and pollute less.

More than 60,000 communities in the U.S. are at risk for wildland-urban interface fires, which is the zone where human development meets undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels. The Inflation Reduction Act provides $5 billion in grants to support healthy, fire-resilient forests, and forest conservation. Of this funding, $1.8 billion will specifically go to removing fire-prone trees from “wildland-urban interfaces.”

Urban Communities:

Many cities struggle with the urban heat island effect, which occurs when tall buildings, roads and pavement, and black rooftops on homes trap heat, while a lack of trees and vegetation prevents the area from cooling. Warmer temperatures from heat islands in cities result in higher energy costs, increased air pollution, and more heat-related illnesses. Urban heat islands are most prevalent in lower-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Residents are also less likely to have air conditioning or easy access to public cooling centers. The Inflation Reduction Act establishes Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants for programs to reduce pollution and climate risks, such as extreme heat, in low-income communities and communities of color. The Inflation Reduction Act also funds state and private forestry conservation programs, including urban and community forestry and the Forest Legacy Program, which will help urban communities with heat islands. 

The Inflation Reduction Act also puts the U.S. on a path to cutting harmful emissions by 40% by 2030. Cities typically have higher levels of toxic air pollution. Air pollution contributes to more than 7 million deaths every year, and 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. People of color are more exposed to nearly every type of air pollution than the average American. Along with the Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants for programs to reduce pollution, the legislation also boosts funding for programs to reduce air pollution, improve air quality monitoring and data collection, and to shore up enforcement technology. 

With many people moving to urban areas looking for work, the Inflation Reduction Act will create millions of good-paying clean energy jobs. The legislation builds a new clean energy manufacturing economy by investing in refurbishing old factories, building new factories, requiring high wages, and mandating apprenticeship training for companies using clean energy tax credits. 

 

Why Florida Needs The Inflation Reduction Act Now

Critical climate and clean energy investments will create millions of good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families, invest in disadvantaged communities, and reduce climate pollution. Not only are Floridians demanding climate action now, with 76% of registered voters supporting Congressional action on climate change, but they are also experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Florida stands to lose more homes and real estate value to sea-level rise damage than any other state in the country, demonstrating precisely why Congress must act now to pass the Inflation Reduction Act to secure Florida’s future. Here’s why Florida needs the climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act now: 

Voters in Florida want solutions to the climate crisis.

Investing in clean energy means thousands of new jobs for Florida.

  • In 2021, Florida was home to 158,467 clean energy jobs including 24,798 jobs in generating renewable electricity, 5,323 jobs in energy storage, 114,079 jobs in energy efficiency, and11,472 jobs in clean vehicles. 
    • The Department of Energy’s 2022 Energy and Employment Report found that 17,739 Florida workers were employed in solar and wind electric generation in 2021. 
  • One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 41,798 jobs in Florida per year over a five year period. The hypothetical investments in that report were even smaller than those in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Floridians are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

  • Florida was ranked the hottest state in the country in 2021, with the Sunshine State experiencing an average of 25 extreme heat days annually. That number is projected to jump to 130 days by 2050 – more than any other state.
  • Florida is struck by 40% of all U.S. hurricanes, and Floridians are likely to see increased storm generation because of climate change. From 2017-2021, Florida experienced 10 hurricanes and tropical storms, totaling $187.8 billion in damages and 293 deaths.
    • Last year, Florida was impacted by four billion-dollar climate disasters, all hurricanes and tropical storms, that caused a total of $82.5 billion in damages and 104 deaths. Damages from Hurricane Ida alone were $78.7 billion.
  • Both red tide and blue-green algae have become more and more problematic in southern Florida in recent years. Both are caused by a combination of water pollution runoff and high water temperatures driven by climate change.

If we do nothing, it will get worse for communities across the state and cost billions of dollars.

  • Climate change will cost Florida $100.9 billion annually by the year 2100. Florida stands to lose the most out of all states due to sea rise and flooding from climate change. The homes of 100,000 Floridians will face chronic flooding by 2045, half of which are in South Florida.
  • By 2040, Florida could face a total of $76 billion in climate change costs from mitigation projects such as building sea walls to protect against flooding from rising sea levels.
  • Florida saw an estimated 250,000 climate migrants after Hurricane Maria and could see more people fleeing extreme weather events in the future.

Climate change and fossil fuel pollution have a disproportionate impact on people of color in Florida.

  • Communities of color and low-income areas in Florida are disproportionately exposed to extreme climate threats and are more often located in or near flood-prone areas, heat islands, or toxic waste sites. For example, Latinos make up 40% of the population in eight Florida cities that will flood during future high tides.
  • Of the 10 counties in Florida that have 10 or more Brownfields, almost all are disproportionately located near low-income residents and people of color. 
    • Brownfield sites are formerly-developed land that has been contaminated by hazardous pollutants. There are an estimated 450,000 brownfields in the U.S. in need of clean up and reinvestment. 
  • Hillsborough County, the only Florida county to earn a failing grade for ozone pollution on the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2022 report, is 22.3% Hispanic and 15.9% Black or African American.
  • Tree cover, which can reduce the effects of urban heat islands, protects as little as 10% of the area in the mostly African-American and Latino neighborhoods in Florida, compared to around 40% in coastal, upscale areas. 

Why Wisconsin Needs The Inflation Reduction Act Now

Critical climate and clean energy investments will create millions of good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families, invest in disadvantaged communities, and reduce climate polultion. Not only are Wisconsinites demanding climate action now, with 73% of registered voters supporting Congressional action on climate change, they are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Currently, more than 200,000 people are at risk of inland flooding and 130,000 Wisconsinites are especially vulnerable to extreme heat, demonstrating precisely why Congress must act now and pass the Inflation Reduction Act to secure Wisconsin’s future. Here’s why Wisconsinites need the climate investments in the Inflation Reduction Act now: 

Voters in Wisconsin want solutions to the climate crisis.

Investing in clean energy means jobs for Wisconsin.

  • In 2021, Wisconsin was home to 71,370 clean energy jobs, including 6,529 jobs in generating renewable electricity, 2,186 jobs in energy storage, 56,241 jobs in energy efficiency, and 6,037 jobs in clean vehicles. 
    • The Department of Energy’s 2022 Energy and Employment Report found that 5,824 Wisconsin workers were employed in solar and wind electric generation in 2021. 
  • One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 16,897 jobs in Wisconsin per year over a 5 year period.

Wisconsinites are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

  • From 2011 to 2021, Wisconsin experienced 22 billion-dollar extreme weather events that caused more than $120.9 billion in damages and 388 deaths.
  • The Great Lakes have been experiencing blooms of toxic algae as a result of pollution runoff, driven by heavy rains, which feeds the algae that thrive in warming water temperatures. 
  • Currently, 200,000 people are at risk of flooding in Wisconsin. Flooding is becoming increasingly worse in Wisconsin, with the region from Port Washington to Sheboygan to Fond Du Lac seeing its worst rain events increase by over an inch since 1960. Climate change is projected to bring more extreme storms to Wisconsin, heightening the risk of severe flooding.
  • In 2020, Wisconsin saw its first cyclone on record when Tropical Depression Cristobal crossed over Lake Superior, causing more than 10,000 power outages across the state. 
  • In May 2022, golfball to baseball-sized hailstorms caused $1.2 billion in damages to homes, vehicles, businesses, and other infrastructure across western Wisconsin and south-central Minnesota. 
  • On May 11, 2022, La Crosse and Milwaukee set record high temperatures at 88 and 86 degrees. In May 2022, Madison saw three days in a row with temperatures over 90 degrees. 

If we do nothing, it will get worse for communities across the state and cost billions of dollars.

  • Climate change is estimated to cost Wisconsin $5,178,650,000 a year by the year 2100. By 2025, cities along the Great Lakes basin could face almost $2 billion in damage from climate change, including flood damage, unpredictable lake water levels, and changes in precipitation and evaporation rates.
  • By 2050, the number of extreme heat days Wisconsin experiences annually is projected to jump from 10 to 100. 
  • By 2050, Wisconsin is projected to see the severity of widespread summer drought increase by 145%, with potentially devastating impacts on the state’s agriculture and dairy industry. Climate change is projected to cause a 9.75% loss in crop yields in Wisconsin, including a 24% loss in grains, and as temperatures rise, the state’s $45.6 billion cattle and dairy industry is at risk.

Climate change and fossil fuel pollution have a disproportionate impact on people of color in Wisconsin.

  • A 2022 study found that people of color in Wisconsin are more likely to be exposed to harmful air pollution than white people, creating the third-largest disparity in the country. People of color in Wisconsin are exposed to 44% percent more particulate matter pollution from industrial sources, with Black residents exposed to 67% more pollution.
  • Indigenous communities in Wisconsin continue to fight to shut down the dangerous reroute of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline. Enbridge Line 5’s proposed reroute would go through Wisconsin, endangering the Tribal lands of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. As of February 2020, the line carries up to 23 million gallons of oil and natural gas liquids per day from Lake Superior to Sarnia, Ontario. 
  • Wisconsin has the highest number of lead lines per 100,000 people. About 67,000 of Milwaukee’s 164,000 water service lines are made out of lead as of December 2021. There are approximately 70,000 residential lead pipes in the city that deliver unsafe drinking water to Black and Hispanic/Latinx communities, and lead poisoning disproportionately affects Black and Hispanic/Latinx children.