This guide can help you save money and fight climate change.
The new climate and tax law could bring big savings to anyone looking to buy an electric car or make their home more energy efficient.
Many American consumers are now able to save thousands of dollars when they buy an electric car, heat pump, solar panels, or energy-saving appliances.
Those savings were kicked in this year as part of the Decline in Inflation Act, primary legislation aimed at reducing emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases. The law tackles the two biggest sources of these emissions, transportation, and housing, in part by helping Americans electrify their cars and homes, and by encouraging more energy-efficient choices through tax credits and rebates. By making it affordable.
Experts said taking advantage of the new law will require some planning, especially regarding major purchases and renovations. It helps that many of the benefits will be around for a decade or more, though not all of them are available yet: Federal tax credits went into effect Jan. 1, but the waivers, which will offer billions of dollars in upfront discounts. Or partial refunds to customers by state and tribal governments, won’t be released until later this year.
Here’s how to access the savings:
If you own your home, there are plenty of opportunities to save money with the new law when you make energy-efficient renovations or upgrade to more efficient, electrical appliances. Technically, many of the law’s provisions may apply to renters, but experts say there’s still some uncertainty — for example, it’s not yet clear whether heat pumps tax credits will apply to window units or not.
Get a Home Energy Audit
Install solar panels or other renewable energy options
Make energy-efficient renovations and buy efficient appliances.
Install the heat pump
Get rebates for renovations that reduce energy use.
Not available yet.
Get a discount for energy efficiency upgrades for low-income households
Not available yet.
For many buyers, a renewable tax credit can help lower the cost of a new electric car, pickup truck, or SUV. And, for the first time, used electric automobiles are also eligible for the credit. But if you’re looking for savings on other types of vehicles, like e-bikes or motorcycles, you’re out of luck.
Buy a new electric car, pickup truck, or SUV
Buy a used electric car, pickup truck, or SUV
If you live in a rural or low-income area, install an electric vehicle charger at home.
More information about the Consumer Savings Inflation Act can be found at the White House, and I.R.S. can be found through the United States Department of Energy. Other federal, state, local, and utility savings may also be available for energy efficiency projects and the purchase of electric vehicles.
Other sources consulted for this guide: interviews with Sage Briscoe, a senior policy manager at Rewiring America, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Stephen Walls, a building decarbonization advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
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