Vanessa Glavinskas 2 minute read

How one family saved $13,000 on their taxes by going green


Randy Grow had a deadline. With a baby on the way, he wanted to get his Oakland, California, home off of fossil fuels by 2024. 

“Everything in our home ran on gas,” he says. Bringing a new child into the world amid a climate crisis motivated him to change that. 

The Grow family standing next to their heat pump with their dog on top of it
The Grow family with their new, energy-saving heat pump. They received $13,000 in tax credits for electrifying their home and switching to clean energy. (Kike Arnal)


Why is natural gas problematic? In short, its main component is methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the short-term.

That means it was much cleaner for the family to electrify everything and power their home with solar energy.

So Randy and his wife, Debbie, got to work. They installed solar panels and replaced both their stove and clothes dryer with electric models. They also replaced their gas-powered furnace with a heat pump, which both heats and cools their home, and installed a new water heater. 

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and other incentives, the couple were able to claim nearly $13,000 in tax credits. 

And there’s another benefit: The family’s utility bills are now almost nothing. 

You too can get money back for going green

The Grows were able to upgrade their home for less thanks, in part, to the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars to tackle climate change and brings America closer to halving its climate pollution by 2030.

Here's how to benefit from the tax credits included in the new law: 

Electric Vehicles

The Inflation Reduction Act rewards qualifying electric vehicle buyers with a tax credit of up to $4,000 on the purchase of a used EV and up to $7,500 for a new car. The credit is issued through dealerships at the time of sale — and since some models already sell for less than $30,000 — it makes EVs cheaper than ever, especially when you consider that the average household spends hundreds of dollars per month on gasoline. There are caveats. For example, battery materials can't come from certain countries, so make sure the model you’re considering qualifies.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps can both heat and cool your home and use less energy overall, making them a greener choice than the traditional furnace/air conditioning combination. They also come with a federal tax credit of up to $2,000. (For households with lower incomes, the Inflation Reduction Act also funds a rebate of up to $8,000, which is still being rolled out.)

Clean Energy

A federal tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of your clean energy system is available to households that invest in clean energy such as solar. Considering that the average cost of installing a residential rooftop solar-powered system is about $19,000 — that’s $5,700 in savings. Beyond that, the average solar-powered home saves about $300 every year on electricity.

… And there’s more to come

In addition to tax credits, the Inflation Reduction Act also funds rebates worth $8.5 billion for families who make energy-efficient home upgrades. The rebates are beginning to roll out now, into 2025. 

Today, the Grow family is happy with the changes. “Everything works just as well as our old gas-powered appliances,” Randy says. 

Hope for a warming planet

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