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 buildings—efforts that could go a long way toward reducing the estimated 24% total countywide GHG emissions that are generated by residential homes.
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.
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.
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: