How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Through the Inflation Reduction Act

In this second part of our two-part blog series, we explore how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will invest in clean energy development and how you can leverage IRA programs to reduce your carbon footprint.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 03, 2022
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Through the Inflation Reduction Act
Lead image of Chikamin Ridge camp, Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Photo by Monty VanderBilt.

As we increasingly experience the impacts of climate change in our communities and on outdoor experiences, it’s time to meaningfully invest in fighting the climate crisis. This summer, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) - a massive package of climate, healthcare, and tax bills - was passed by Congress and signed into law.

The IRA contains $369 billion in climate provisions, making it the largest effort to address the climate crisis in U.S. history. This new law also invests in efforts to conserve and restore our public lands and waters and leverage them as natural climate solutions. You can learn more about what the IRA means for public lands in What the Inflation Reduction Act Means for Public Lands.

One of the biggest ways the IRA will help address climate change is through various provisions and tax incentives to reduce emissions and develop clean energy. When implemented, the IRA is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 44% by 2030. It’s still too early to tell precisely how implementation of the law will work in every state, but the IRA has already jumpstarted efforts to reduce our nation’s carbon emissions and transition to a clean energy economy in a more holistic way.

Numerous small acts by individuals and communities to electrify and to reduce our collective carbon footprint will be necessary to hit these important reduction targets. Together, we can shape a more sustainable climate future for our landscapes and communities, and the landmark climate and clean energy funding in the Inflation Reduction Act is here to help.

Driving Clean Energy Development in Washington

Last year the Washington State legislature passed the Climate Commitment Act, setting an important goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Washington by 95%by 2050. The Inflation Reduction Act will help us meet this commitment by investing in and delivering affordable, clean energy across the state. The IRA provides targeted incentives to drive investment in clean energy technologies. One of the ways the IRA will accomplish this is by modifying and extending the Investment Tax Credit, providing a 30% tax credit for qualifying investments in wind, solar, energy storage, and other renewable energy projects. In order to promote an equitable transition to a clean energy economy, the IRA includes additional tax credits and bonuses for clean energy investment in low-income communities. By 2030 the IRA is estimated to generate $5.3 billion to invest  in large-scale clean power generation and storage in the state.

One of the ways The Mountaineers is translating our climate statement into action is by reducing the carbon footprint of our facilities, programs, and activities. The current project to install solar panels on our Tacoma Program Center will likely qualify for significant rebates thanks to the IRA.

Reducing The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint

The Mountaineers Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee continues to engage with our community about the many ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. The IRA offers new tax credits and incentives to encourage you to reduce your carbon emissions by electrifying your home and switching to an electric vehicle. This guide from Rewiring America unpacks the various ways you can utilize IRA programs to electrify.

The tax credits are open to all individuals, regardless of income, but your eligibility for rebates and incentives is based on your household income relative to the median income for your area. To get started, calculate your eligible savings using this IRA calculator.

Calculate Your Clean Energy Savings

Energy-Efficient Appliances

One of the central ways the IRA incentivizes emissions reduction is through the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate (HEEHRA). Beginning in 2023, this rebate program provides up-front discounts up to $14,000 for low and moderate-income households to electrify their homes by replacing non-electric appliances. Replacing an oil boiler with a heat pump or a gas stove with an electric one is a great way to leverage this rebate, save on fuel costs, and reduce your carbon footprint. By eliminating fossil fuels from your home, you can save 5-10 tons of carbon emissions.

These rebates take the form of up-front discounts on qualifying electrification purchases. The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act covers 100% of project costs (both the appliance and labor) for low-income households and 50% of costs for moderate-income households. Through HEEHRA, you can receive the following:

  • $8,000 for a heat pump
  • $4,000 for electrical panel upgrades
  • $2,500 for rewiring
  • $1,750 for a heat pump water heater
  • $1,600 for basic weatherization
  • $840 for a heat pump clothes dryer
  • $840 for an electric or induction stove

When seeking to leverage this rebate for multiple heat pump technologies, you’ll need to space them out over separate tax years. Another way to utilize the IRA to electrify your home is the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Tax Credit (25C). This is a tax credit for up to 30% of the cost for residential efficiency and electrification upgrades, including heat pumps and heat pump water heaters.

Rooftop Solar

Installing solar panels on your roof is a great way to drastically reduce your carbon emissions and transition to renewable energy. The IRA provides an opportunity for individuals to take 30%off the cost of rooftop solar, home batteries, and geothermal systems through the Clean Energy Tax Credit (25D). This credit can be leveraged for residential renewable energy installations like rooftop solar, battery storage, and geothermal heat pumps. You have until the IRA’s legislative ending date - 10 years from now - to use the tax credit. Learn more about solar panels in this recorded webinar from members of our Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee.

Electric Vehicles

Most of the carbon emissions associated with our outdoor adventures are generated from transportation in gas-powered vehicles. Switching to an electric vehicle (EV) is a way to drastically reduce your carbon footprint. EVs emit one half to two thirds less carbon into the air over their lifecycle than their comparable gas-powered vehicles. Washington State is leveraging new funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to build electric vehicle charging stations along highways.

The IRA includes two tax credits that can be used to purchase an electric vehicle and one for installing electric vehicle chargers in your home. The IRA offers a tax credit (30D) of up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a new electric vehicle and a 30% tax credit (25E) of up to $4,000 toward a used electric vehicle. Starting in 2024, these incentives can be accessed as up-front discounts. If you don’t have enough tax liability to offset the full amount of these credits, the excess does not carry forward to future years. Savings is dependent on manufacturer's suggested retail price and income limits, and may only apply to some vehicles.

The IRA also includes a tax credit of up to 30% for installing home electric vehicle chargers (30C). This credit will be limited to households in low income or rural communities starting in 2023. The cost for an EV charger can be included in the cost of a solar PV installation. By doing so, you should be eligible for that 30% tax credit regardless of your income. To help you dig deeper into the world of electric vehicles, we recently shared EV tips and tricks from Mountaineers members who own them.
 Learn More about the Clean Energy Opportunities in the IRA

Get Started

The Mountaineers Virtual Education Center’s archive of resources is a good place to start your carbon footprint reduction journey. Next, use the IRA calculator to assess your opportunities from the Inflation Reduction Act. Contact us at to learn more about what’s on the horizon for The Mountaineers carbon footprint reduction efforts, and how you can get involved in the future of this important work.

Learn more about how the Inflation Reduction Act will invest in our public lands and waters in the first part of our IRA blog series.