What’s in it for me? A Montgomery County Homeowners’ Guide to the Inflation Reduction Act

November 1, 2022
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Update February 2023: The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding for multiple tax incentives and rebates that are available to both low-to-moderate income (LMI) and non-LMI households. The White House has created a website to explain the program. And if you are looking for specific funding for your projects, check out Rewiring America’s IRA Savings Calculator

In 2017, Montgomery County set an ambitious goal to cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2027 and 100% by 2035. In the first year, the County made progress on achieving 75 climate actions across a multitude of actions laid out in the Climate Action Plan. Among those key climate actions are the need to expand electrification and solar PV incentives for existing buildingsefforts that could go a long way toward reducing the estimated 24% total countywide GHG emissions that are generated by residential homes 

What is the Inflation Reduction Act? 

In August 2022, a notable piece of legislation was passed and signed into law by President Biden called the Inflation Reduction Act. In what is considered the largest investment in clean energy and climate action in American history, the Inflation Reduction Act authorizes roughly $369 billion in spending on energy and climate change. This includes an allocation of $4.3 billion for energy efficiency and electrification upgrades for LMI and non-LMI homeowners and multifamily buildings. In addition to boosting funding for clean energy production, the Inflation Reduction Act could lead to vast improvements in home energy efficiency, electrification of homes and personal vehicles, and installation of solar on residential homes.   

What does it mean for homeowners in the County? 

The Inflation Reduction Act includes funding for multiple tax incentives and rebates that are available to both low-to-moderate income (LMI) and non-LMI households.

For several of these incentives, homeowners must meet certain income qualifications, such as 80-150% area median income (AMI) in order to receive them. AMI is the household income median or middle household in a region, and in Montgomery County the AMI is $140,500. For example, if an income eligibility requirement noted 80% AMI as a cut off between LMI and non-LMI, that would mean your income in the County needs to be below or above $112,400 to qualify.  

Below are several incentives and rebates included in the Inflation Reduction Act that could cut the costs of energy and decrease utility bills for homeowners by improving their home’s energy efficiency, electrifying gas-powered systems, and installing solar panels on homes. For more details on these programs, we recommend you read this policy brief developed by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Rewiring America has a detailed breakdown several of the programs included in the Inflation Reduction Act that can save homeowners money. Please consult a tax professional on your eligibility for any tax-related program.  

High Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program 

  • This program offers point-of-sale rebates for eligible projects, such as $1,750 for installing a heat pump water heater, $1,600 for weatherization upgrades, and more! 
  • Income eligibility requirements: 
    • Low-income: <80% AMI, 100% of costs covered including installation 
    • Moderate-income: 80-150% AMI, 50% of costs covered including installation 

Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit Program 

  • Households can deduct up to 30% of the costs for eligible home improvements that year with a $1,200 annual limit (for equipment and installation). 
  • Eligible home improvements include $150 for home energy audits and $600 for electric panel upgrades, among other projects. 

Solar Tax Credit Program 

  • If you install solar energy equipment onto your residence anytime between now and the end of 2032, you are entitled to a nonrefundable credit off your federal income taxes equal to 30% of eligible expenses. 
  • There is no dollar limit on the expenses. For example, if you paid $25,000 to install solar panels, you can subtract 30% of that ($7,500) from your federal income taxes. 
  • Learn more about this tax credit program here. 

Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole-House Rebate Program 

  • Income eligibility requirements: 
    • Non-LMI homeowners: Up to $4,000 or 50% of project cost for a 20-35% reduction from prior energy use trends
    • LMI homeowners: Up to $8,000 or 80% of project cost for 20-35% reduction from prior energy use trends 
    • Multifamily buildings: Up to $400,000 or 50% of project cost for a 35% reduction from prior energy use trends 

EV Tax Credit (30D) 

  • This new credit, which can be applied directly starting in 2024, will give up to a $7,500 credit for qualifying new electric vehicles (EVs) and a $4,000 credit or 30% of the vehicle’s value (whichever is lower) for used EVs. 
  • Income limits: Individuals that make more than $150,000 per year and couples that make more than $300,000 per year do not qualify 
  • Price limits: $55,000 for sedans and $80,000 for trucks and SUVs 
  • Learn more about this tax credit program here. 

When will the new incentives become available? 

Although the Inflation Reduction Act is now law, homeowners and other qualifying County residents should expect some of the new incentives to become available sometime in the next year or so. The majority of eligible home upgrade projects are eligible for Inflation Act Reduction incentives if you undertake the project after January 1, 2023. In the meantime, learn more about the various incentives that will be offered by clicking on several of the resources listed below:  

One comment on "What’s in it for me? A Montgomery County Homeowners’ Guide to the Inflation Reduction Act"

  1. Austin Cox says:

    Thank you for this article!

    I am a little confused by the linked savings calculator vs. the cited Montgomery County AMI of $140,500. The calculator shows a major change in point-of-sale rebate incentives for household incomes of $151,874 vs. $151,875 for Montgomery County ZIP codes. How does this relate to the 80%/150% AMI incentive crossover points?

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