If you heat with Oil, Propane or Natural Gas you have seen your heating bills increase substantially over the last few years with no relief in sight. America’s reliance on these 3 energy sources leaves us vulnerable to global events and the supply and demand effects that those events cause. Energy independence should be a national goal as well as a personal goal for the citizens of the USA. Let’s be realistic, as a country, we can’t just flip a switch and go from a fossil fuel-based economy to a renewable green based economy overnight, but it makes sense to start thinking about how we begin to move towards a self-reliant, renewable, source of energy that’s better for the planet (and the country) long term.
Back in August, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act also known as the IRA. Part of that bill recognized the need to continue the move to renewable sources for our country’s energy. Many people refer to the bill as the “Electrification of America” bill; incentives in the form of tax credits now exist in many ways for you, the taxpayer, and homeowners to make the move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable forms of energy. The list of incentives is so long that it takes a great website to keep track of it all (https://www.rewiringamerica.org/app/ira-calculator). All you need to do is type in your zip code, your income, whether you rent or own, tax filing status and household size and the website will tell you what incentives you are eligible for. An additional surprise in the IRA was that some of the incentives (such as solar and geothermal) were made retroactive for 2022 at the new higher 30% tax credit rate!
For households ineligible for solar panels or geothermal, there is an option to save up to 10% on your annual electric bill by signing up with Community Solar. There are no monthly fees or upfront costs. If you visit the Solarize Ulster website at https://gnd.ulstercountyny.gov/solarize-ulster, there is more information along with several providers to choose from. $100 will be donated to Ulster County’s Green New Deal fund for every new subscriber. You’ll save money and help build an equitable green economy in our county.
Whether you opt for solar panels, geothermal, or community solar, you’ll save money in the long run and be a force for good in your community.