On the webinar, Winter Weatherization: How to get started, lower heating bills and save energy cohosted by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Community Energy Project, Environmental Action and US PIRG Education Fund experts shared their thoughts on why now is the time to weatherize, how to go about it with some do-it-yourself tips, and how to tap rebates and tax credits made possible thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.
Why now is the time to weatherize your home
Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Johanna Neumann gave three reasons why now is the time to weatherize your home.
- Bill savings. The average family spends $2,000 a year on their energy bills- and costs are only rising.
- New opportunities. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act both increased funding for weatherization, making it easier than ever to make your home more efficient.
- Environmental benefits. Weatherizing your home can save you money and it’s also a boon for the environment and the climate. The cleanest energy is the energy you never have to use.
DIY Weatherization Tips
Zack Surmacz, Weatherization Coordinator with Community Energy Project walked through Do-It-Yourself weatherization tips, like how to find and deal with drafts, how to heat more efficiently, how to save money and energy with appliances and lighting, and more.
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. Small changes can have some big impacts when added together.Zack Surmacz
Weatherization program coordinator, Community Energy Project
Tax credits and rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act
Lisa Frank, the Executive Director of the Washington Legislative Office of Environment America and Shanika Whitehurst, associate director for product sustainability at Consumer Reports walked through the energy efficiency and weatherization provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Consumers can seriously consider a heat pump now even if they’re on a limited budget.Shanika Whitehurst
Associate director, Consumer Reports' Product Sustainability, Research and Testing team
Throughout the webinar, panelists offered resources to help consumers understand what tax credits, rebates and assistance programs are available. Some of those resources are below.
What credits & rebates are in the Inflation Reduction Act?
The Inflation Reduction Act offers consumers tax credits and discounts on more than a dozen types of energy-saving purchases. This blog by USPIRG offers a helpful explainer of the biggest opportunities for consumers to help the environment and save money created by the law.
How do you apply for weatherization assistance?
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is administered at the state and local level. For information on the Weatherization Assistance Program and how to apply in your state, click here.
What state rebates and credits are available to help me save energy?
This database offers a complete run-down of incentives and rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments by state.
The webinar wrapped up with a question and answer session, that included:
Q: What does a heat exchanger do?
A: A heat exchanger removes the need to have a big hot water heater, and heats up water on demand. Some funding is available in the IRA for heat exchangers.
Q: Is a heat pump worthwhile in a very cold area?
A: Yes- even in below freezing temperatures, a heat pump is still worth it. There are different types of heat pumps. Do some research to figure out which one is best for you.
Q: Are there programs in place to help with a substantial insulation cost?
A: Yes, and levels of support may depend on your income.
Global Warming Solutions, Associate, Environment America
Mackenzie works on the Transform Transportation campaign, where she works to build a more climate and human-friendly transportation system. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, walking, biking and reading. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America
Johanna directs strategy and staff for Environment America's energy campaigns at the local, state and national level. In her prior positions, she led the campaign to ban smoking in all Maryland workplaces, helped stop the construction of a new nuclear reactor on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and helped build the support necessary to pass the EmPOWER Maryland Act, which set a goal of reducing the state’s per capita electricity use by 15 percent. She also currently serves on the board of Community Action Works. Johanna lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family, where she enjoys growing dahlias, biking and the occasional game of goaltimate.