Energy Experts Say Climate Bill Could Help Consumers Cut Utility Bill Costs
Democrats and some energy experts said the Reducing Inflation Act, passed by the Senate on Sunday, could lower consumers’ electricity bills and the prices of products such as rooftop solar panels, energy-efficient appliances and electric vehicles.
Under the legislation, energy efficiency home improvement credits will allow households to deduct up to 30% of the cost of upgrades, such as heat pumps and insulation, from their taxes. Another provision expands a program that allows households installing solar or battery storage systems to deduct 30 percent of the cost of those items from the tax.
Rewiring America, a nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency, said it estimates these and other measures in the legislation could save households $1,800 a year.
The program also continues to encourage families to replace their gasoline-powered vehicles with electric vehicles. It offers a $7,500 tax credit for new electric cars and a $4,000 tax credit for used cars. Couples earning less than $300,000 a year or individuals earning less than $150,000 a year will be eligible for points, and consumers will receive discounts at dealerships.
“This bill will help create jobs and reduce costs for many American families,” said Sen. Thomas Carper, Democrat of Delaware, in addition to mitigating climate change.
Republicans said they expected the measure to push up inflation and said credit would not help Americans.
“They’re not going to buy electric cars in the near future,” Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said of his constituents. “They want gasoline prices to come down because we’re producing more oil.”