Many American consumers are now eligible to save thousands of dollars when they buy an electric car, heat pump, solar panels or energy-efficient appliances.
Those savings kicked in this year as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, major legislation that aims to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. The law tackles two major sources of those emissions, transportation and housing, in part by helping Americans electrify their cars and homes, and by making the most energy efficient choices more affordable through tax credits and rebates.
Taking advantage of the new law will require some planning, experts said, especially when it comes to 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 just yet: Federal tax credits took effect on Jan. 1, but rebates, which will offer billions of dollars in up-front discounts or partial refunds to consumers through state and tribal governments, won’t roll out until later this year.
Here’s how to access the savings:
If you own your home, there are plenty of opportunities to save money through the new law when you make energy-saving renovations or upgrade to more efficient, electric appliances. Technically, many of the law’s provisions could apply to renters, too, but experts said there’s still some uncertainty about what is covered — for example, it isn’t clear right now whether the tax credits for heat pumps will apply to window units.
Get a home energy audit
Install solar panels or other renewable energy options
Make energy-saving renovations and buy efficient appliances
Install a heat pump
Get a rebate for renovations that reduce energy use
Not yet available
Get discounts for energy-efficiency upgrades for lower-income households
Not yet available
A renewed tax credit can help lower the cost of a new electric car, pickup truck or SUV for many buyers. And, for the first time, used electric automobiles qualify for a credit, too. 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
Install an electric vehicle charger at home if you live in a rural or low-income area