For Immediate Release:
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Johanna Neumann, Senior Director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, 413-367-4794, [email protected]
Matt Casale, Environment Campaigns Director, 609-610-8002, [email protected]
Taran Volckhausen, Communications Associate, 720-212-9955, [email protected]
Panel discussion: How to get started on winter weatherization using new federal, state incentives
WASHINGTON— As energy costs rise across the country, many consumers are looking for ways to reduce energy use and save money. On Thursday, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center, Environmental Action and Community Energy Project co-hosted a webinar entitled “Winter Weatherization: How to get started, lower heating bills and save energy.”
The webinar covered topics such as conducting home energy audits, D.I.Y. weatherization projects and taking advantage of the federal and state incentive programs that are designed to lower home heating bills and reduce overall energy use.
“Saving energy through weatherization makes our homes more energy efficient and comfortable and it has a lot of benefits for the environment too,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. “The best and cleanest energy is the energy you never have to use in the first place.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law a year ago this month; the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program received a $3.5 billion boost in funding. Meanwhile, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed this summer increased rebates and subsidies for homeowners to reduce energy use by using energy more wisely.
“Federal action is helping Americans reduce energy use, ” said Lisa Frank, executive director of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Washington Legislative Office. “The bipartisan infrastructure law invested in the Weatherization Assistance Program, and together with the Inflation Reduction Act, this new investment will make it cheaper and easier for people to save energy, go solar and switch to clean, efficient, electric appliances.”
The resources offered on the webinar were complemented by an online weatherization guide as well as other tips and guides to help consumers reduce energy waste.
“The climate crisis is very real and happening right now. We all as citizens and humans on this planet have a responsibility to share the resources and reduce demand,” said Zack Surmacz, weatherization program coordinator of Community Energy Project in Portland, Oregon. “Small changes can have some big impacts when added together.”
The IRA has large credits and rebates for heat pumps, a high-efficiency system that heats and cools homes.
“One of the big dates that we know that we’re looking forward to is January 2023 when a lot of these weatherization incentives and rebates go into effect. The IRA provides consumers with rebates, and in some cases depending on income level, upfront costs to update to a new heat pump,” said Shanika Whitehurst, associate director for Consumer Reports’ Product Sustainability, Research and Testing team. “Consumers can seriously consider a heat pump now even if they’re on a limited budget.”