The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a “free electric bank account with your name on it.” It’s packed with rebates and tax credits that will help Americans purchase everything from EVs to solar and electrical appliances to heat pumps. Check out this easy-to-use IRA savings calculator from Rewiring America that tells you what you get – and when.
Rewiring America is an electrification nonprofit whose “purpose is to make electrification simple, measurable, and inevitable.” We just upgraded to a 200-amp service panel last week and had rooftop solar and Tesla Powerwalls installed this week, so this savings calculator has been a valuable tool for us. I just double-confirmed (it’s my personality; I can’t help it) in seconds that we can claim a 30% tax credit for solar, a 30% tax credit for battery storage installation, and a 30% tax credit, capped at $600, for our new electrical panel upgrade work.
We bought a US-manufactured 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 late last year, and the Rewiring America calculator confirmed that our car qualified for the full $7,500 tax credit.
In my electrification journey, I’ve found that I need to do my own research and advocate for myself, as electricians, heat pump installers, and car dealerships are still learning about how the new tax credits and rebates work. More often than not, I fill them in. (Then I share what I learn with you – that is my job, after all. And I’ll do so once my solar and storage project is completely online.)
The folks who are helping us to electrify want to know about the IRA rebates and tax credits, and they want to help me in turn. Everyone we’ve worked with is actively doing their part about climate change, and they appreciate it when I share the information I find with them.
Inflation Reduction Act rebates
On July 27 of this year, the US Department of Energy (DOE) rolled out guidelines for states, territories, and the District of Columbia to apply for their share of $8.5 billion in electrification and energy efficiency rebates provided by the IRA. That funding is going to save consumers a lot of money on home improvements and electricity bills.
Rebates include home electrification and appliance rebates that will act as immediate discounts at the point of sale for low- and moderate-income households when making qualifying electrification purchases.
There’s also the home efficiency rebates program, which rewards modeled energy savings of at least 20% or measured energy savings of at least 15%. So, if you save a specific amount of energy and have receipts, then you get a rebate. It’s not income-capped, but at least half of the program’s funding will go to low-income households.
We have to wait a little while longer for rebates to be available – Energy Department Deputy Secretary David Turk said in August that the DOE expects that “these rebates will start to be available to consumers in some states as early as the end of this year and continuing on a rolling basis in 2024.”
Rewiring America has a disclaimer on its Inflation Reduction Act savings calculator page about state rollouts:
The rebates may be implemented differently in each state, so we cannot guarantee final amounts, eligibility, or timeline.
(Like Florida, for example – Governor Ron DeSantis rejected $377 million in funds, which takes away rebates for things like electric wiring, weatherization, and electric stoves. I’m sorry, Floridians.)
The ‘Smith family’
The tax credits are ready now, so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the IRA savings calculator. Here’s how it works: Type in your zip code, homeowner status (renters qualify, too), household income, tax filing status, and household size into the IRA Savings Calculator, and click “Calculate!”
It then displays your personalized incentives and splits out tax credits from upfront discounts (i.e., rebates).
I created the “Smith family” as a case study: a family of five, homeowner, household income of $120,000, head of household tax filing, zip code 19352 (that’s Pennsylvania).
The calculator says the Smiths will qualify for rebates in 2024, and they qualify for $15,600 in available tax credits right away, which means the Smiths can claim those tax credits on their 2023 taxes, should they purchase rooftop solar or an EV before the end of the year. They have an estimated energy savings per year of $1,500, the latter of which is based on energy costs in Pennsylvania.
Rebates – what Rewiring America calls “upfront discounts” – are based on a percentage of area median income, and the Smith’s area median income is $114,400, as they live in the 19352 zip code area. (You can find your area median income using this Area Median Income Lookup Tool from Fannie Mae.)
So that means they’re going to qualify for some good rebates. Here’s what they’d get for an induction stove as a moderate-income household, for example:
For low-income households (under 80% of Area Median Income), the Electrification Rebates cover 100% of your electric/induction stove costs up to $840. For moderate-income households (between 80% and 150% of Area Median Income), the Electrification Rebates cover 50% of your electric/induction stove costs up to $840.
Top comment by Mark D
What people need to understand is you can’t actually get a “credit” from the IRS for these things… If you owe the irs zero at the end of the year you can’t receive a $7500 rebate for buying an ev. So, in a way, the credit only benefits those well enough off to already owe over 7500 to the IRS year end.
Rewiring America also provides an easy-to-understand online guide to the IRA called “Go electric! (now).” You can access that here.
Correction: A sentence previously read, “Governor Ron DeSantis rejected $377 in funds.” We have corrected it to read, “Governor Ron DeSantis rejected $377 million in funds.” We apologize for the typo.
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Author: Michelle Lewis