This month we’re digging a little deeper in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that was authorized in 2022. This legislation addresses many topics, but most importantly to conservationists, are tax rebates available for choosing energy efficient appliances, conducting home energy audits, installing solar panels, and much more.
First, here is an 84 page guidebook on the IRA as it pertains to clean energy and climate action. These incentives will in most cases cover 30% of costs in several areas that you may be able to utilize as a homeowner or renter. A slightly less confusing, more concise guide is located at Natural Resource Defense Council..
One of the best resources available on the internet is at rewiringamerica.org. Here they have a calculator to help you estimate the savings you are eligible for when replacing or renovating areas of your home. Listed below are three examples of common home issues where you can likely take advantage of the IRA:
1. My clothes dryer is on its last leg! Is there anything in the IRA that will help me?
Very likely. It seems some of the details of this incentive are still being worked out, state by state, but incentives have been extended past 2030, and depending upon your income, you may be able to collect more in tax rebates than those who are at the top of the income bracket, helping to ensure those with less are able to save on energy bills and keep their home safe from negative environmental factors. This list from Treehugger may help you understand the differences in dryers, why heat-pump dryers are the newest in energy efficiency, and even provides information about dryer sheets.
2. “When the wind blows, I can feel it through this door. That can’t be good, right?”
It’s not great! In the winter, cold air can enter your house in areas where insulation and seals aren’t working as they did when installed. These are sometimes simple fixes and, of course, sometimes not. The IRA will allow homeowners to make weatherization upgrades and receive a tax rebate for doing so. If you need to upgrade a door, you can get up to $250 for one and $500 for two. There is a limit to how many credits you can take advantage of each year, but careful planning can help to make the updates needed to make your home more efficient over the next eight years. Pueblo County also has more information about weatherization incentives.
3. “I want to save on my utility bills and take climate action but it’s so overwhelming. Where should I begin?”
A good place to start is with a home energy audit. Many in our area have electricity provided by Black Hills Energy. Here they have a virtual home energy assessment as well as many applications for incentives that will save you money over time. Your Pueblo Zoo is also auditing many of our procedures and practices in order to become more responsible for our energy usage. And it is overwhelming. But small steps with a wonderful goal in mind, make this less daunting.
Have you taken advantage of these incentives or plan to? Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and can suggest your solutions to other Pueblo Zoo patrons. Together we can take climate action and make positive change.
Black Hills Energy Efficiency
Pueblo County Energy Resources
Natural Resource Defense Council