What does the Inflation Reduction Act mean for your wallet?

United States President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 on Aug. 16. 

After passing the Senate on Aug. 7, and barely passing the House of Representatives on Aug. 12, the new 730-page Act is now in effect.

The Act, largely a climate spending bill,  is the largest climate investment in U.S. history.

With the carbon emissions reduction incentives for green energy, the people most likely to benefit from the Act are the alternative energy equipment manufacturers.

America will invest more than $60 billion to create new clean manufacturing jobs. As of yet, Butler County will not be seeing any of these clean manufacturing jobs.

Companies who make wind and solar power components, such as  Auxin Solar, Convalt Energy and JinkSolar Holding Co.; as well as Electric Vehicles, or EVs, like Tesla and Lucid, will benefit most from the tax incentives.

Also, there will be tax credits for consumers who switch to cleaner energy, like solar panels and EVs. But these incentives are not available everywhere.

According to Christi Scruggs from Pioneer Electric, “We do not offer rebates to our customers for solar panels.”

Galahad Smith, the owner of Southland Builders, said, “We really don’t use solar panels a lot here in Alabama. We don’t have the peak hours of sunlight here.”

The goal of this Act is to reduce carbon emissions in America by approximately 40% by the year 2030. 

The latest figures available come from the Environmental Protection Agency website, www.epa.gov. 

A study from The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2017 states the U.S. emits 15% of the world’s carbon dioxide gas.

This Act will also help support communities in their legal fights for environmental issues that have plagued their areas throughout this country. The Act now has $3 billion in block grants set aside just for this purpose.

One of the arguments that has repeatedly arisen regarding this issue is fracking.

Fracking has been in use in this country since the 1940s. It is a process of injecting fresh water at high pressure into underground rock sediments in order to create fissures and allow the trapped gas or crude oil to flow into a pipe to a wellhead at the surface of the ground.

The Act will also lower current energy bills between $500 and $1,000 per year by making energy companies pay fair-market prices to gas and oil companies that are located on public lands. 

The Act puts a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription costs for those insured by Medicare, and  allows this agency to negotiate for better prescription prices on medications.

This benefit will not take full effect until 2025.