By Dana Nuccitelli, CCL Research Coordinator
The financial incentives for homeowners in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will be key in achieving the building electrification and efficiency component of CCL’s policy agenda. But, they’re complicated! CCL volunteers have been asking a lot of questions like, “What are the applicable technologies and their benefits?” “What are the different incentives?” “How do I figure out which I qualify for?” and “How do I apply for them?”
To help answer these questions, CCL developed a new training resource that details the home electrification and efficiency opportunities from the IRA. These will also be presented in a live training webinar on this topic on March 2, 2023, with a slide deck that volunteers will be able to share with their local communities in presentation events.
Illustration of the IRA tax credits and rebates available for home electrification and efficiency, created by Nicole Kelner.
The basics: bank accounts and buckets of patience
The IRA essentially created an electrification and efficiency bank account from which each homeowner can withdraw. The funds in the bank account are divided into two “buckets,” as illustrated in the graphic below created by the Fairfax County CCL chapter: tax credits and upfront rebates. To get an idea about which you might qualify for, consult Rewiring America’s great IRA calculator tool.
Accessing both categories of incentives will require a measure of homeowner patience. The tax credits for home electrification and efficiency improvements, solar panels, and electric cars are available now, but will be applied to taxes filed in the following year. For example, purchasing a home heat pump in 2023 can reduce a homeowner’s tax liability by up to $2,000, but will only be applied when their annual tax returns are filed in early 2024.
As for the upfront rebates up to $14,000, each state’s energy office will have to set up a program with the Department of Energy to demonstrate compliance with the IRA’s requirements. That process will take time and may not be complete until 2024. The rebates won’t be accessible until that’s done. We’ll update the training page as more information becomes available about the IRA homeowner rebates.
Check out our resources for more information
You may also be wondering, will heat pumps work in cold climates? Are electric cars and solar panels really so good for the environment and climate? Why do I keep hearing about electric stoves? And what if I electrify my home and then the power goes out?
For answers to these questions and more details about the home technologies incentivized by the IRA — heat pump space and water heaters, electric stoves, home weatherization, electric vehicles, rooftop solar panels and batteries, electrical panel and wiring upgrades — check out the new training page.
Dana Nuccitelli is an environmental scientist and climate journalist with a Master’s Degree in physics. He has written about climate change since 2010 for Skeptical Science, for The Guardian from 2013 to 2018, and since 2018 for Yale Climate Connections. In recognition of his climate journalism and education work, Dana won the prestigious SEAL Environmental Journalism Award in 2022 and National Center for Science Education Friend of the Planet Award in 2016.