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Happy Birthday, IRA!

Happy Birthday, IRA!

The landmark clean energy law passed nearly one year ago, aka the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), is the single largest investment in climate and clean energy in American history. Generation180’s Electrify Your Life Program Director, Stuart Gardner, shares how the legislation will put us on track to reach our country’s carbon reduction goals while supporting communities and making the many benefits of clean energy technology more readily available for all.

There are a lot of famous birthdays to celebrate this month and we’re joining in to celebrate an important first birthday. The party is for everyone’s favorite landmark achievement toward climate progress: the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

On Aug. 16th 2022, the passage of the IRA made history. Its passage marked the most significant clean energy investment and climate action ever, with over $370B in investments to support clean energy solutions. The law will do a lot of incredible things: improve US industrial competitiveness, drive innovation, and create jobs, to name a few. 

So, you might be wondering: how does this affect me in my day to day? To that, I’d say, the biggest takeaway about this law for us regular folks is:  Benefits, benefits, benefits – for both individuals and communities. For example, the clean energy law provides money to Americans in the form of tax credits and consumer discounts, for home upgrades, electric vehicle purchases, and other new technologies that studies show not only help the climate, but work smoother than old, outdated technologies.  

Specifically, the IRA provides up to $2,000 to upgrade your old gas furnace to an electric heat pump, which is 3-5 times more energy-efficient. Induction stoves cook faster and are easier to clean, and the IRA provides incentives to help you make the switch — up to $14,000,  depending on your income. These types of high efficiency home upgrades add value to your home and can help you save on annual energy costs. 

Interested in upgrading your old gas car to a fun electric vehicle (EV) which requires nearly zero maintenance? The IRA provides tax rebates up to $7,500 for new and up to $4,000 for used EVs. 

See an easy tool from the Department of Energy here to calculate all the areas where you can save.

And it’s not just energy savings for homeowners and drivers. In the first year alone, the IRA has driven significant investment in US manufacturing with nearly 80 major clean energy facilities, an investment equal to the previous seven years combined. Since the clean energy law passed last year, over 170,000 new clean energy jobs have been created in 44 states. 

What’s more, Americans across the political spectrum are benefiting. The clean energy law has enabled 152 clean energy projects in 92 Republican-held districts, resulting in over 96,000 new, good paying jobs, totaling over $224.8 billion in investments. I’m talking about new manufacturing sites in Arizona, New York, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Florida, and, even Texas. 

All of this has a point. The IRA is helping Americans access clean energy solutions that also make life better. Unfortunately, many Americans have never heard of it. In fact, a recent survey found that two thirds of adults had heard little or nothing about the Inflation Reduction Act and only 22% thought it would benefit them personally.

It’s important to change this so we don’t squander this once in a generation opportunity. Generation180’s Electrify Your Life campaign works to help inform Americans about how they can take clean energy action in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Let’s celebrate the IRA’s first birthday, helping to improve the lives of all Americans.  

Here’s to year two!

  • – Stuart Gardner, Electrify Your Life Program Director