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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opportunities within the Inflation Reduction Act

The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.

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Having entered the second month of the new year, I have decided it is time to learn about opportunities available to homeowners and renters through the Inflation Reduction Act.

I recently heard about Rewiring America, a nonprofit supporting the electrification of homes, businesses and communities. Their website provides a tool for calculating financial savings available through the IRA. After inputting my zip code, proud Bemidji resident, and homeowner status, renters qualify for incentives, too; household income before taxes; and size of my household, I clicked “Calculate.”

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What populated was an overview of the total incentives from which my family and I can benefit. Perhaps most exciting is how some of the incentives come in the form of upfront discounts, which reduces purchase price at the point of sale.

There were a couple of categories I was particularly drawn to — incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles EV and those for electrifying common home appliances. Based on energy costs in Minnesota, it is estimated we could save $1,150 every year if we both begin driving an EV and swap our existing furnace and water heater for electric alternatives.

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Switching to an EV would entail upgrading our electrical panel, which offers a $4,000 rebate; installing a Level 2 EV charger in our garage, which offers a $1,000 tax credit; and finding the right EV to fit our needs.

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Thankfully, we are not limited to buying a new vehicle, though — the IRA provides up to $4,000 for the purchase of a qualifying used EV. Electrifying our water heater and furnace with heat pumps qualify for rebates of $1,750 and $8,000 respectively.

Our 50-year-old home would also benefit from weatherization — air sealing, insulating, door and window upgrades and ventilation improvements — for which we could receive up to $1,600 in rebates.

Call me a tree-hugger, because, in addition to the financial incentives for improving the comfort and value of our home, I love the idea of reducing my family’s carbon footprint.

To learn how you can do the same, visit rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator.

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