Advocates praise the Inflation Reduction Act’s investment in climate

U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene called it an “unprecedented federal investment” in clean energy.

On Sept. 28, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) hosted a virtual press conference to highlight what she is calling “historic energy savings” for Washington families, small businesses, and municipalities included in the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law in August 2022.

DelBene said the Inflation Reduction Act is one of the most “significant” investments in clean energy that Congress has ever made, with the potential to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by an estimated 40 percent by 2030.

For Washington state, the new law offers several types of savings on energy-efficient products and appliances through tax credits and rebates for small business and homeowners, including a 50-100 percent discount on home energy efficiency and electric appliances, a 30 percent discount on home solar and battery installation, up to $7,500 for electric vehicles, $8,000 for heat pumps, and $5 per square foot for energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

Clean energy advocacy group, Rewiring America, has made available a calculator for households to get an estimate on how much savings they are eligible for on certain kinds of upgrades and utility investments. The calculator can be found here.

DelBene said these savings will be available for the next ten years, as an opportunity for people to save money for becoming more energy efficient while also free relieving pressure on our energy grid.

Senior Vice President of Puget Sound Energy, Andy applauded the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, saying that it not only allowed people to make renewable energy investments that they could not afford previously, but that it also allows utility companies to invest in renewable and more efficient energy infrastructure which in turn will make energy more affordable for customers.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding for grants that can be given to both corporations and municipalities to invest in renewable energy infrastructure and equipment, incentivizing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions among organizations and communities.

DelBene and Wappler both said they expected these grants to help create innovative renewable energy jobs for communities as well as new infrastructure is designed, built and maintained.

Mayor of Bothell, Mason Thompson, said the city is already hiring staff to apply for these grants, so the city of Bothell can take advantage of the federal dollars made available for projects to help the city meet its climate goals.

Rebecca Ponzio, spokesperson for the Washington Environmental Council, said she expected that grants and funding allocated by the Inflation Reduction Act would relieve fiscal pressure on Washington’s government so that the state could “leverage” more revenue towards climate goals and “scale-up” solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate disasters in our state, such as seasonal wildfires.

To read a summary of the bill, or the bill itself, visit this link.