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You Don’t Need To Be Rich To Go Green With the Build Back Better Proposed Incentives

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The Biden administration has made no secret of its desire to lower the country’s carbon footprint, and it has backed that desire up with legislation. The proposed Build Back Better bill includes $555 billion to address climate change, and that’s on top of historic levels of climate-change funding included in the already-passed infrastructure bill.

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Normally, government incentives to reduce carbon emissions tend to reward people who have enough money to buy pricey electric vehicles or solar-powered homes. But the Build Back Better proposal — which has already been approved by the U.S. House and is now being reviewed by the Senate — features numerous tax incentives that could help Americans who aren’t rich.

While those incentives include tax credits for EVs, they also include credits for e-bikes for those who want less expensive modes of transportation. And if you can’t afford a custom-built solar home, tax credits are available for individual solar panels that let you decarbonize your house one room at a time. Tax credits are also available for geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines and electric motorcycles.

Make Your Money Work for You

Under the BBB proposal, families would get up to $12,500 off of electric car purchases as long as the car is made in the United States with union labor and an American-made battery, the Grist website reported. Otherwise, the plan provides a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of a new EV, plug-in hybrid car or electric motorcycle. Individuals who buy e-bikes would get a credit of up to $900 as long as the bike doesn’t cost more than $4,000.

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The plan would also pay up to 30% of the cost of a home solar-panel installation, geothermal heat pump, wind turbine or other improvements that increase energy efficiency.

In the House version of the BBB bill, both the electric vehicle tax credit and the credit for solar panels and home efficiency improvements will be refundable, the Grist noted. This means households whose tax credit reduces their tax liability to less than $0 will get a check from the IRS for the remainder of the credit.

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