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Building Electrification & Efficiency Breakout Session, December 2022 conference

In this legislative strategy session, CCL Vice President of Organizational Strategy Tony Sirna and CEO of Rewiring America Ari Matusiak share strategies for electrifying homes and communities, as well as taking advantage of some of the electrification incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. Read and watch below for more insight into electrification and efficiency.

Tony Sirna: Okay. Hello everyone, and welcome to the breakout session on building electrification and efficiency. And thank you for taking the time to learn about this important part of our climate agenda. I’m Tony Sirna, I’m Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Vice President of Organizational Strategy. And before I introduce our guest speaker, I want to introduce myself and our organization. Like many people working on climate change has always been rooted in my care for others and a desire for justice. Right out of college, I dedicated my life to this cause working for 18 years in a small community to demonstrate a sustainable lifestyle. But as the climate problem remained unsolved, I started looking for ways to have a broader impact. And that’s when I started volunteering with CCL eight years ago. By connecting with a small but growing group of organized and dedicated people, I was able to leverage my energy on a much larger stage. As we’ve grown, it’s become clear that we’ve been an effective force, both in Congress and on the international stage. I’m proud to serve our volunteers as part of the CCL staff, supporting you all in the work to build political will for climate solutions.

I’m excited by this new phase that CCL is entering in our policy agenda: carbon pricing, healthy forests, clean energy permitting reform, and of course building electrification and efficiency. And I’m so glad that you are here today to learn and engage on these critical issues for this session. We’ll be leaving time for questions at the end, and after the presentation and a brief discussion with our speaker, I encourage you to start putting questions in the chat during that discussion. And our staff will collect those, and we’ll make time to answer as many as we can. 

So it’s my great pleasure to introduce you to our guest speaker, Ari Matusiak. Ari is the co-founder and CEO of Rewiring America, the market-leading organization focused on electrifying everything in our homes, businesses, and communities. We are so excited to be collaborating with Rewiring America in this work of promoting building electrification and efficiency. They’re clearly so good at what they are doing, and so I thank Ari for all his work to create and nurture that organization. Before his work at Rewiring America, Ari served in the Obama White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Private Sector Engagement, where he focused on economic policy related to jobs and competitiveness and oversaw the administration’s relationship with the private sector. Ari was also Chief Strategy Officer at Renovate America, which was the largest residential renewable energy and financing platform in the U.S. And the largest green bond platform in the world, financing $3.5 billion of investments in over 150,000 homes. And I don’t want to leave out that Ari is proudly from Wisconsin and a big fan of the Green Bay Packers, but alas, all questions about football are considered outside the scope of this session. So welcome and thank you Ari, for being with us, and I can’t wait to hear what you have for our volunteers today.

Ari Matusiak: Well, thank you, Tony. It’s so great to be here. And thank you to CCL for your incredible leadership and all of your work. Given the way this season is going going, I’m really glad not to have to talk about football and instead to be able to talk about electrification because it’s become a more controversial topic on the home front. So I’m going to tick through a few slides. Obviously, I wish we were all together in person and able to do this in a more intimate setting, but it’s wonderful to be able to gather everybody together in this way. So I’m going to tick through a few slides and then as Tony said, happy to answer questions that folks have and obviously really looking forward for ways to engage you all in this work even more than you already are.

So let’s dive in. So Rewiring America is really based in what we think of as an electrifying story of economic renewal and community infrastructure. We think about like a new climate future where there is a combination of actions resulting in lower energy costs, healthier homes, and climate benefits for all. We were founded in the summer of 2020 with a pretty simple idea, straightforward, easy to accomplish, that we need to electrify everything in the economy. And the reason for that is a climate reason, first and foremost, one that this audience, in particular, is very familiar with, but that I’ll go through, but also really about economic renewal and tying the work of climate change to the day-to-day lives of people’s families, their households, and their communities. So first, let’s talk a little bit about how we got here. In the 1970s, some of you may remember, we had an energy crisis and that spawned the first Sankey diagram, a flow diagram by the U.S. Government to map where the energy was coming from and where it was going.

The idea behind that Sankey diagram was to ensure that signs like this on gas stations did not occur. Meaning to say that there was a sufficient amount of energy to support the demand in the economy. And out of that came a whole policy regime that we have been working toward improving over the last 50-plus years. Energy Star stickers on our appliances, CAFE standards which were the MPG stickers on our car windows. And the idea of that over time, year over year, policy window over policy window, these efficiency standards would be improved, and the underlying machines would need to use less power, less energy in order to deliver the same standard of performance. The idea of course being that the less we use, the more that we have, ensuring that there’s enough supply.

And we were told of course, that waste is bad and efficiency is good, and that’s obviously true, but the climate crisis, as you all know, is a different kind of crisis. You can’t efficiency your way to zero. You have to get the fossil fuel-producing machines out, because even the most efficient gas car is still an internal combustion engine car that uses gas. And in 2018, Saul Griffith, one of my fellow co-founders, took the Sankey diagram from the U.S. Department of Energy, got a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to reform the Sankey diagram, mapping it down to 0.1% granularity, looking at the flows of energy from the supply from the generation side to the consumption side. That spaghetti-looking thing behind Saul is the product of his work and it is the basis of which we started Rewiring America because what you uncover when you start to map the energy flows in the economy is that it really is about the machines. And electrification is, in fact, the way that we get that efficiency in a manner that is consistent with achieving our climate goals. The reason for that is that electric machines are actually three to four times more efficient than internal combustion engine machines because they give off less waste, waste heat, or loss of energy in the transfer of power from the generation of that energy to its consumption. So it turns out, when you take the mapping of the energy flows as Saul did, you find out that 87% of the emissions in the economy comes from energy generation and consumption. Some of the emissions are coming from other things, like farms and refrigerants, et cetera.

But really the vast majority, nine out of 10 parts of the emission story is a story of energy generation and consumption. And 42% of that comes from decisions we make around our kitchen tables: the kind of cars we drive, how we heat the air and water in our homes, how we cook our food, dry our clothes, and where the power comes for those things. And it turns out that those kitchen table decisions round up to a significant number of machines, a billion of them, in fact, across our 121 million households, a billion machines that need to be replaced or installed as electric over the next couple of decades. That looks like all of these things. And it turns out that if we electrify all of those things, we actually have a good news story, not just for the climate, but for American families, because the average American household by our analysis, will save $1,800 a year on their energy bills if they cleanly electrify their homes.

$1,800 a year is a lot of money, and it’s a lot of money in particular, in an economy where almost half, 49% of American households don’t even have $400 in emergency savings. So if you think about $1,800 flowing back into households and across households into communities each and every year, it actually would mean that electrification is, in fact, the largest opportunity for a wealth transfer from energy producers to consumers in the history of the country. This is how we think about electrification as the abundance agenda of our times. And it’s one that we can do because it turns out that across each and every one of our homes and families and friends, networks and communities, we have the power to make a lot more of a difference than we perhaps thought. Because for a very long time, the climate conversation, apart from sophisticated, engaged citizens like yourselves, the climate conversation has felt like something that everyday folks didn’t really have a way into.

It was the world of Washington. It was the world of scientists. It was the world of people who were like engaged in the work, whereas the 70% of Americans who were concerned about climate didn’t really have a way to participate. Well, electrification is in fact the most participatory strategy for doing the most amount we can in emissions reduction that you can imagine. And so we already know how to produce clean electricity. It’s affordable, it’s abundant. This is not a thing that needs to be invented. And that’s also part of the story of electrification, is that we’re not waiting for some breakthrough technology here to save us from ourselves. All of the technology already exists. So what we need to do is jumpstart the transformation of the economy from a fossil fuel one to an efficient electric one. And that’s why we spent a lot of time over the last year and a half working on the shaping of what is now called the Inflation Reduction Act, and the policies that are inside it in order to jumpstart the electrification movement by bringing down the costs of these machines for everyday Americans and their families.

Because effectively, what the Inflation Reduction Act has done is given every American household an electric bank account that has thousands of dollars in it to help facilitate the transformation from their fossil fuel baseline to an efficient electric one. But the trick is, we need to make sure that Americans know that they have this money and that they can access it. And so we think about spreading the word about household uptake, and the availability of the electric bank account as effectively summing up to the electric potential of the country. And this is an opportunity for us to meet our electric potential. And that’s where you all come in, because the thing that I want to say about this is that the inflation Reduction Act, if you read the reporting, many reports will say, well, it’s $370 billion in the largest climate bill in the history of the country.

Really the largest climate action in the history of the world, by some measures of that $370 billion, about $100 billion of that is for residential electrification by our count. But here’s the thing about the Inflation Reduction Act. Most of the policies that are inside of it are not capped, which means that the Congressional Budget Office projection is just that. It’s based on what they see as the uptick of the policies over the 10-year window. It could be that we underperform the Inflation Reduction Act projections and spend less than that amount of money, or conversely, in the way we like to think about it, it could be a lot, lot more. In fact, if you think about the 10-year window and say, by the end of 10 years, we are aware of where the planet requires us to be, which is that every machine that is installed and replaced from that point forward is an efficient electric machine.

And you map your path back to where we are today. If you follow that curve of all the machines, that would be replaced in the economy over the 10-year window to get to that moment in time, 10 years from now, where every machine from that point forward is replaced as an efficient electric one, the Inflation Reduction Act would spend closer to $860 billion on residential electrification alone. That is a massive amount of opportunity. And it all comes down to whether American households and communities know that they can access these dollars, know how to put them to use, and take advantage of them so that they don’t lose the opportunity. Because when a water heater went out in their home, they replaced it with another fossil-fuel water heater. As soon as a household does that, it is basically foregoing the money in its electric bank account because it will not make sense to buy another heat pump water heater to replace the fossil fuel machine that was just installed.

Because it turns out that these machines last for a very long time, 15 years, 20 years at a time. So we have the power to do all of this. And it’s really about making sure people understand, are aware that you’re spreading the word, and that people are taking action. And that takes all of us. And so really, my message to you all is that you have massive agency in helping to spread the word to your friends, family, and neighbors to understand how and why to electrify. And we want to be your partner in that. You can contact your electeds, and encourage your local officials to adopt policies supporting electrification. One thing to think about is, there’s sort of a push on things like gas bans. Well, there’s another version of this, which is to push localities to set targets for how fast we electrify.

And in addition also to go through their policies to make sure that they’re not unintentionally charging people more for taking the electric path, because ultimately for communities, it becomes a question of how much money are they going to access from Washington that’s available to them. They can bring a bunch of money in from Washington if they make it easy for their households to participate. And if they bring that money in from Washington, it goes right back into the local economy creating local jobs and opportunity for everybody. So you can also contact your local contractors and let them know that you want to go electric, because part of this is making contractors needing to hear the word from potential customers that that’s what the market wants. 85% of contractors do less than a million dollars a year of sales and business.

So they are small businesses. And if you tell someone who’s a small business owner that they should totally change their business model because something great is just around the corner, they might say, “Hmm, I’ll wait until we’ve already gone around the corner.” But if they start hearing from people in the community who say to them, “I’m really interested in that heat pump. Do you sell heat pumps?” And they hear that enough times, they’re gonna know that the market is changing and there’s an opportunity for them to take advantage of. The other thing to say is that electrification is not just about households. It’s a community enterprise. And one of the great locales for electrification in the community are our schools. And we’ve created a whole campaign around rewiring schools and toolkits for how local residents, citizens, parents, teachers, students, can move their school boards and districts forward on electrifying schools.

This is actually where a lot of emissions are. And what’s great about this is that if a school is considering electrifying, it creates a community conversation about the machines because it turns out that the machines that a school would use are the same kinds of machines that a household would use. Heat pumps are gonna heat schools. And that creates an opportunity to have a conversation at home about how we could have a heat pump heating our home as well. So you all are climate leaders in your communities and nationally, and you can be the example by electrifying your own life and learn by doing. And I know Tony, you had a question about renters versus homeowners and you know, there’s opportunity for renters to participate in this as well. If you think about a rental apartment in, pick a place, this is a sort of a case study in Georgia.

The rebates are available for a number of things that that renting household could get for free. A portable induction burner and oven, an electric closed dryer, a window unit heat pump. All of these things are eligible to be covered by the rebates and they are portable for the buyer, i.e. A renter. But it’s also an opportunity to have a conversation with the landlord because the landlord can take advantage of these rebates and benefits and effectively invest in their property, increasing the asset value. And so that is a way to have a conversation with a landlord as well. So in terms of your steps, you can use our calculator that we created to calculate how much you are eligible for through the Inflation Reduction Act. You can use our guide to help you plan how you might go electric in your home.

And you can use our deep dive tools that we have to help you think about actually plotting out the buying of the machines and doing the retrofitting in your home. So let’s just close by talking a little bit about what you can talk about when you talk about electrification. Well, people care about climate, but they act based on cost and health. So you can emphasize the things that will improve people’s quality of life, save them money, and make their homes healthier. We talk a lot about electrification in the context of savings. That $1,800 number I mentioned, uh, but it also turns out that electrification is really, really good for improving someone’s quality of life and health benefits in the home. We want you to be an electric enthusiast who talks a lot about heat pumps and induction stoves and everything in between.

We need millions of them around the country sort of leading the charge. And to really tell the story about how we can move forward with an overall message of abundance and optimism as opposed to having to sacrifice and be negative. Electrification creates thousands of good paying jobs that can’t be automated or offshore. And that really creates like a reinvestment mechanism into communities. And as I mentioned earlier it’s good for our health. It turns out that 42% of homes that use gas for cooking have a 42% higher instance rate of childhood asthma. The stories of benzene leakage through gas stoves and other harmful gases are being covered much more in the press now, thanks to work of a bunch of colleagues of ours. It’s also true that the air pollution that comes from burning fossil fuels leads itself to premature deaths and to all kinds of health complications.

These are things that, you know, but they are part of the story of why electrification is that much better. And then the last thing I’ll just say is that transitioning to a decarbonized economy by 2050 will save a lot of money, $12 trillion worldwide. And this is sort of a comment that I’d like to make coming back to the beginning about how electric machines are so much more efficient than fossil fuel machines. If we electrified every machine in the economy that can be electrified, we would triple to quadruple the electricity demand of the US economy. That’s a lot. But we would cut in half the amount of energy that we use to power our economy. We would cut in half the amount of energy we use to power our economy while putting all of these dollars back into our communities, which would mean that not only would we remain the number one economy in the world with the biggest gross domestic product, but we would actually increase the margin of our position in terms of being the number one economy in the world because of all of those dollars being reinvested, because we would be running the economy that much more efficiently.

So electrification is the right answer when it comes to climate, when it comes to household and community benefit, when it comes to our economic position as a country overall and our competitiveness. And also when it comes to our national security. It turns out that fossil fuels are volatile and subject to people that look a lot like Vladimir Putin. And we don’t need to be dependent on people like that, nor should we be as a country, particularly when we have the option right in front of us to make this transition. So, we’re building the electrification movement at Rewiring America. We would love for you to join us. We have heat pump costumes if you want to be this guy. You can’t be Mr. Heat Pump, but you can be like Mr. Heat Pump. I’ll just stop there and really appreciate the time. Thank you, Tony.

Tony: Thank you, Ari. That was great. And, I’m sure our volunteers definitely want those costumes. So we’ll have to get the kit for how to make that. I really loved what you had to say about abundance and optimism and the health and the savings effects and how important that is as an avenue for talking with your community and with people in your community, both at the at the school and with the elected officials, with your neighbors. I’m wondering if you find any difference in how you engage on this, whether you’re in a urban area or a rural area, whether with conservatives or liberals, do you see any difference in the way that you would engage people on these topics?

Ari: It’s a great question. I think from our perspective, it’s really important that this does not become a culture war. It doesn’t need to be, because it’s rooted in pretty common sense things. What we’re saying effectively is that people don’t need to sacrifice their quality of life, it will improve. And what we’re saying is that these are not machines of liberal elites, but machines that we just rely on in our day-to-day lives, regardless, we all depend on machines to heat our homes, to heat our water, we depend on machines to get us around. The question is just what’s powering those machines. And it turns out that the electric machines are just better. And if we can make them better and more affordable on an upfront basis so that people can access the affordability on an ongoing basis, then that’s something that should be good for everyone.

And I’ll just say as a little bit of an anecdote, I’m a car buff, have been since I was a kid, when my dad got me a subscription of Rode and Track magazine. And when you read these, these magazines are not comprised of a super liberal readership. And so when you read these online stories historically about electric cars or whatever, there’s a lot of “Hmm,” poo-pooing. People are not excited. Well, it was very interesting to see the F-150 Lightning get released, right? Because all of a sudden all of the comments were, “Oh, this is a great truck. It’s so much better than the F-150 I have, and it can back up my job site and it can back up my home,” et cetera. It has more power and it can tow harder.

So I think there’s like a, I don’t think you have to sort of give up any ground whatsoever when it comes to the transition that we’re talking about. People pretty universally like to save money. They pretty universally like to not be dependent on foreign dictators, and they pretty much universally like to have better quality of life and health outcomes for their kids and their families. And that’s really what we’re talking about in the end. The climate stuff is the upshot of all of the other stuff. And so it doesn’t have to be the argument for why someone makes this transition,

Tony: So there’s a lesson there that you don’t always need to lead with climate, you know, that can come in later into the conversation. I’m curious, you mentioned elected officials and I’m wondering if you could say more about your mayors and elected official coalition and what our volunteers could be asking their city council members or their mayors to be doing both to join that coalition, but even beyond that, what else they could be asking?

Ari: Yeah. Well that’s a great question. So we do have this local electeds for electrification coalition that’s growing and has I think about 150 members at this point. And we’d love to have every community in the country have representation on that coalition. And that coalition itself becomes sort of a community where people can exchange ideas and have best practice and all the rest. But when it comes to what a community can do, what I would say is that there’s a — I would sort of position the conversation in an affirmative way. So if you go onto Rewiring America’s website and go to our maps page, you can find out what the electric potential is for your community, i.e. how much money can come to your community through the Inflation Reduction Act. So one thing to do in partnership with local governments, it doesn’t cost them anything, is for them to rally around the idea of educating residents about going electric, because all that does for a local elected official is bring money from Washington into the community, spurring local economic activity. That’s one thing to do. 

The second thing to do, which we would be eager to partner with folks on and are gonna create some tools around this in the year ahead, is to help localities effectively plant the flag on goals to go electric and to get sort of to the uptake that they need to get to. And then the third thing, as mentioned is to really kind of clear out the underbrush of policies that are, unintentionally or intentionally depending on how they were passed causing more cost to going electric than is needed. So an example, I talked to a contractor years ago in Colorado who told me that on one side of the street where he worked, the price of solar was a thousand dollars more than the other side of the street, because the street was a dividing line between two towns, and the towns had different permitting costs associated to residential solar. That’s the kind of stuff that we gotta get rid of if we’re gonna facilitate going electric.

Tony: Thank you. I’m curious, you mentioned that the IRA has all these incentives and I’m wonder if you can say when do those kick in? Are they available right away? Or how long do we have to wait before we can start taking advantage of those incentives?

Ari: For the most part, almost all of them are available starting on January one. And if you, you go to Rewiring America and access our savings calculator, you can actually see when the benefits are available based on sort of what you’re eligible for. The one program that in particular is going to take a bit longer to implement are the rebates for electric machines that are really focused on low and moderate income households. And the reason for that is that it’s a new program and it’s gonna take longer for the Department of Energy to write the rules and partner with the state energy offices to get the dollars out the door. So we’re expecting those kind of in the middle of 2023, but everything else will be available as of January one.

Tony: Great. And for people who aren’t in the position right now where they’re ready to replace an appliance or upgrade their home, are there things they can do now to get ready for that? Even if it might be a year or two before they’re ready to make that bigger plunge?

Ari: Yeah. The way I think about this is that every sort of decision that we make toward an electrified future state facilitates every subsequent decision. So what do I mean by that? Let’s say you know that you’re going to be getting a car in a couple of years, well, when that time comes, this is just a way to start thinking about how these things connect. Let’s say you live in a home where that has a garage or where you’re gonna park the car in the driveway or whatnot, would you be in a position to charge that car at home. If that is going to be part of the story for you when you buy that EV, what is probably going to be tied to that is upgrading your breaker box to support that and installing a charger.

If you are going to install the charger in your home at that time, it would be a really great idea to also run wires and put a two 40 volt outlet where your water heater and your furnace are. Because now when the time comes to replace the furnace or the water heater, you don’t have to have this crazy conversation with yourself that sounds like, “well, you know, we’d love to get the heat pump and not, and not have any more fossil fuels, but we only need to wait three weeks for the electrician to come before we can take a hot shower again.” I mean, people are not gonna do that, realistically. So that’s another way to take a bit of like an inventory of your house. Like, what is going to be required in order to make your home electric ready, and those are the things that you can start planning for in order to make the subsequent decisions pretty straightforward and common sense.

Tony: I like that. Electric ready. I love that phrase. So I’m gonna go to some of the questions from our volunteers from the audience. One question is about as cities move to mandate electrification or encourage it, how do we make sure that they don’t choose inefficient electrification technology like baseboard heating? Is there some way to really make sure that they’re focused on efficient electric machines? How do you make sure to encourage that?

Ari: Well, this is the good news about the Inflation Reduction Act is that it only supports efficient electric machines. So heat pumps not baseboard heating. And so that’s basically cohering to what the policies are in the Inflation Reduction Act will get you exactly to where you need to be.

Tony: Great. And then some people are asking, “if I live in an area where a lot of the power’s still from coal or gas, does it still make sense to electrify my home and my car?” Can you say anything more about that?

Ari: Yeah. It’s a great question. So it turns out that if in every case, in every utility district, in every state in the country electrifying the machines in your home results in an immediate carbon savings to the community that you’re in, even if your community creates electricity through more dirty means. The reason for that is because fossil fuel plants are themselves highly pollutive, and there’s a significant amount of methane leakage that comes from the transmission of that gas to your home, and then the fossil fuels are being burned in your home properly. So all of that creates significant fossil fuel emissions. So electrification is on a straightaway basis, emissions reducing even in the dirtiest places.

But the other thing to say about this, and it’s important, is that the way we think about these machines is that they are appreciating climate assets because they last for 15 plus years. And as such, when you just start to think about the transformation of the grid over that window, we know already that there’s going to be significant retirements of coal powered plants, and they’re gonna be replaced by renewable and clean energy powered plants. And we know this because the economics have made it clear that it is no longer economic to build coal fired plants in the United States. So as a result, over that window of time that that machine is operating, it will become more climate productive on a year over year basis as the grid starts to transform. And so that’s another thing to say.

Tony: That’s great. It’s like putting money in the bank and earning interest over time. People are asking some questions about getting the word out, especially to contractors. And so I’m wondering, does Rewiring America have information that people can pass along to contractors? Beause sometimes they’re still in a place where they’re saying, “Oh, you don’t want one of those heat pumps,” or “You should get this gas furnace,” or whatever. And I don’t know if there’s materials you have that that can be shared with contractors.

Ari: Well, we’re gonna have a lot more of those, but yes, you can go to Rewiring and use our calculator. And the calculator itself is useful for contractors to see because it helps them start to think about what’s available. But the calculator contains inside of it a bunch of material, a bunch of information about each of the machines and why they make sense and all the rest. And Rewiring America recently, over the last couple weeks just acquired a website called, which is like the wire cutter for electrification. So you can also go to Carbon Switch and start to get reviews on machines and sort of how they work and all the rest. And learn more about that. I’m getting like some direct messages if I could just sort of like answer a couple of them quickly. The IRA does not subsidize electric resistance heat. It is for efficient electric machines only, like heat pumps, which is good. And the good news about these machines is that the technology is available today. Now there are the classic story that we’re hearing across the economy around supply chain issues and all the rest. And so heat pump manufacturers are needing to scale their manufacturing. In fact, part of what we advocated for that is in the Inflation Reduction Act is money through a wartime tool, the wartime authority that the President has called the Defense Production Act, to invest in manufacturing of heat pump facilities here in the United States so that they can be competitive in the market. The other thing to say is that today’s heat pump is not like your grandfather’s heat pump situation. So it is true that a couple decades ago heat pumps only worked down to a more moderate temperature, and they were inefficient below that. That is no longer true of heat pumps today. In fact, heat pumps work in every climate in the United States. They work down to negative 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit and they are efficient down to those levels, so much so that the state of Maine for instance, even before the IRA implemented a whole program to swap out all fuel oil homes with heat pumps in Maine, and last time I checked, Maine gets pretty cold

Tony: Now you mentioned a few times $1,800 in savings. I assume that’s like a per year savings for the average household. Can you say anything about what the upfront costs are for people to make some of these shifts and then the money from the IRA — does that cover most of it, all of it, or just a small fraction? Can you say anything about what the payback period is to make that kind of shift?

Ari: So the headline there is that it depends on what we’re talking about, and it depends on your circumstances and what you’re eligible for. If you are a low or moderate income household that makes less than 150% of the area median income, which is a technical term, but if you make, let’s call it below $60,000 a year, you can actually get the rebates up to $14,000 that will pay for everything, that will pay for a hundred percent of the costs. And so in some cases, depending on what you’re gonna do, it could actually cover all of the costs. But the way that I think about this is, if you were saying, “you know what, because of the climate and because of this thing I heard about, I’m just gonna rush out and go buy some new stuff, even though I have perfectly fine stuff.” Now you’re in like a conversation that sounds Tony, like what you were talking about, like what’s the payback period and how do we think about that? But if you’re comparing it instead to, “I have a water heater, my water heater is going to conk out and then I’m gonna need a new water heater. What water heater am I going to get? The fossil fuel water heater costs this much, the heat pump water heater costs this much.” That’s what the IRA is really trying to do, is to pull the upfront cost down to the delta of cost between these two machines, to basically level, right? So that when the time comes for you to make that decision, you’re not actually having to do this kind of payback calculus dynamic. You can do the “it makes sense” dynamic. Now it might be the case that there is some difference in the cost, and then you can start to look at the payback periods and whatever else. But our view is that if we do this well and do it right and that households make a plan that works for them in terms of dealing with these machines as they come, not having to deal with it in some rush out and get it situation, that it should become a compelling economic proposition for everybody.

Tony: Great. And one other question in terms of engaging locally, are there other allies that we should be working with locally? Are there other organizations — obviously we wanna be working with Rewiring America as much as we can, but are there other folks we should be looking out for that are engaged on these electrification issues?

Ari: Well, there are different levels of civic engagement and leadership in different places in the country. We are eager to cover those who are working on this stuff and to partner with them, and we’re eager to partner with all of you to create some of that momentum on the ground. And it really is — I think we’re at this broader inflection point in terms of the overall conversation. And we have this opportunity to tell a story that is an abundant one and that positions households and communities to make affirmative steps that are gonna help them and the climate both. But it’s really that civic momentum is what we need to frankly create and that’s one of the reasons why we’re super excited to be talking to all of you.

Tony: Thank you. Well, I think we are just about out of time. I’m so glad that you were able to be here to speak with our volunteers. I’m looking forward to partnering. We’re gonna be pushing out materials to our volunteers so that they can be out there in their communities tabling and talking about electrification. And there’s just so much we’re gonna need to be educating ourselves about and then educating our communities. And we’re so glad to have Rewiring America to provide those materials for us to build upon. We love your calculator. We’re gonna be telling millions of people about that. So I look forward to working more with you and I’m sure our volunteers will have more and more questions and as you have materials, send ’em our way and we’ll be getting ’em out to the right people, whether that’s mayors or contractors or landlords or whoever it might be. So I look forward to, to putting our folks to work in this endeavor.

Ari: Well, thank you all so much. You all are the ones who are the leaders here. And however we can be supportive and helpful, we would love you to join us in in all the ways and we are so happy to be joining you and following your lead.

Tony: Great, Thank you so much. And thank you everyone for joining this breakout session.