Funding Our Energy Transition: Enter the IRA

Last August, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was all over the news. It got attention because it aims to reduce the federal deficit, lower drug prices, invest in energy production, and reduce carbon emissions. This bill puts billions of dollars toward addressing climate change. In fact, it is the largest federal investment in climate change in U.S. history!  As the bill was being debated, passed, and signed into law, it was in headlines, on TV, and across social media. Since then, you may have heard less about the IRA.  What has been going on with this huge federal program recently?

The answer is that a lot of folks have been working hard to get ready to use the funding from the IRA, including Ecolibrium3. We want to make sure this important funding opportunity benefits Duluth.  We are reading legislation, exploring application options, attending presentations, and staying tuned for all IRA updates so we have the very best knowledge about these programs.

There are many moving parts within the massive law, even just within the climate and energy portion. The IRA dedicates funds to transition away from fossil fuel systems. This is an historic amount of funding toward energy efficiency.

So how can we use some of that $370 billion here in Duluth? Think of the IRA as one tool you can use to make your home more comfortable, healthy, and energy-efficient. Direct funding is made available to residents under the IRA in two main ways: tax credits and rebates. 

In some cases, you may qualify for rebates of up to $14,000 for making efficiency improvements. Here’s a great resource from our friends at Rewiring America to see how much you qualify for. These funds can include big appliances like heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, heat pump dryers, or induction stoves. They can also help with  insulation/air sealing, windows, doors, electrical upgrades. There are even provisions to help purchase solar panels and electric vehicles!

Ecolibrium3 plans to make navigating the IRA as simple and effective as possible for the Duluth community. The first step to make any home more energy-efficient and comfortable is to get an energy audit. This will provide you with proper information to plan your home energy journey and prepare for coming funds. Sign up for an audit with us here!

We will also be highlighting energy programs like the IRA during Earth Week, April 17-22. At EcoFest on April 22nd, the Energy Team will have resources and activities to show how you can use the IRA in your home. Learn more about Earth Week events here. We hope to see you there!

Timeline-style graphic shows home energy efficiency steps in this order: Energy Audit, Air Sealing and Filling Gaps, Improving Insulation, Upgrading Appliances, Heating and Cooling, Assessing Windows/Doors, Installing Solar. Each step is illustrated with a small blue graphic.
Home energy efficiency is a complex multi-step process. We recommend taking these steps in this order.