IRA brings climate action and savings for Washington

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Along with lowering health care costs for Americans and fighting increases in the cost of living primarily driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the bill is the “most significant, most comprehensive, most complete, most serious climate bill that the Congress has ever passed.” While there is still more to do to fully tackle climate change’s existential threat, we’ve highlighted how the IRA will help Washington [meet its climate goals and what it will do for households in the state.]

Lower Energy Costs

The Inflation Reduction Act will make it more affordable for Washington families to purchase energy efficient appliances, and reduce money spent on their utility bills each month, through: 

  • Rebates covering 50-100% of the cost of installing new electric appliances, including super-efficient heat pumps that both heat homes in the winter and cool them in the summer. In Washington, millions of low- and moderate-income households are eligible for these rebates. 
  • Tax credits covering 30% of the costs to install solar panels and their storage batteries. There are no income limits for the solar program, and projections estimate that over 160,000 additional Washington households will install rooftop panels as a result.
  • Tax credits covering 30% of the costs of community solar projects—owned by local businesses that sign up families to save on their electric bills—with additional bonus credits for projects at affordable housing properties and for projects in low-income communities. 

Small Business Impacts

Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.

Electric Vehicles

The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and $4,000 for used EVs, helping middle-class Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs. In Washington, millions of people will be eligible for these discounts. Washington recently submitted a state plan for using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out EV charging stations along highways.