Here’s some good news: the call to “electrify everything” has evolved from the faint plea from an ignored group of scientists and environmentalists to national policy. On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed into law a major piece of climate legislation that will provide funding for the transition from appliances and vehicles fueled by gas and oil to new equipment fueled by electricity. (For bizarre political reasons, the climate legislation has a strange title—the “Inflation Reduction Act,” or IRA—a fact that is mostly irrelevant.) The bill dedicates billions of dollars of federal funding over ten years toward our nation’s climate goals.
Green builders know that if our country is going to meet our climate action goals, we’ll need to replace appliances that burn propane, natural gas, oil, or gasoline with electric appliances. This will affect our country’s kitchen ranges, water heaters, furnaces, boilers, and vehicles. (Of course, our country also needs to decarbonize the electricity grid, phasing out coal-burning power plants in favor of wind turbines, PV arrays, and battery banks.)
In the eyes of most environmentalists, the new legislation falls short of what is needed to avoid climate catastrophe. That said, the billions promised by the bill make it the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history.
Climate investments are coming
For GBA readers, the most interesting provisions of the bill include the following:
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