encourage Americans to buy green

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has persuaded Democrats in Congress to provide hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change. It’s about attracting Americans to buy millions of electric cars, heat pumps, solar panels, and more efficient appliances.

It will be a public affairs challenge to determine whether the country meets Biden’s ambitious goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030.

Depends on tax credits and rebates made Climate Change Bill — Approved in August With Only Democratic Vote — More politically acceptable than regulations that force large-scale changes in polluting industries.

But it also means the government’s fight against global warming will be taken “one household at a time,” according to the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank that works closely with the White House on energy issues. said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, who is working on

“It’s very gradual, so it requires a very sophisticated communication strategy.”

Biden acknowledged the hurdles at a recent cabinet meeting, talking about incentives that would be available this year.

“People need to know how to take advantage of these benefits that we have passed through. It is the responsibility of all of us here to make sure that message is communicated clearly,” he said.

The White House is putting together a plan to partner with state governments, contractors, retailers and social media influencers to disseminate information. Downsizing will be a key driver.”

We also work with Rewiring America, a nonprofit focused on how to electrify homes and businesses, and companies like Airbnb, Redfin, and Lyft. As part of the effort, Rewireing America has created. online calculator It shows which credits or rebates homeowners are eligible for, depending on their zip code and income.

Buying a heat pump or installing a solar panel “is a major expense and a huge opportunity to save,” says Ari Matusiak, founder and CEO of the group. “So it is very important to make sure that people are aware of the resources available and the benefits that can be unlocked in terms of savings on energy bills.”

But the White House faces an uphill battle.

Polls show that while Americans support action to slow climate change, they are broadly aware of the Inflation Reduction Act, a large-scale law that includes financial incentives to reduce emissions. not. skeptical of one’s role in the climate crisis.

AP-NORC poll released in Septemberfound that one month after the law was signed, 61% of US adults said they knew little or nothing about it. And despite billions of dollars invested in climate action, only a third said it would help. About half said they would not change.

The White House said it was not shaken by the result. The goal, he said, is to ensure that consumers know the economic benefits of energy-efficient products at the moment they are making the key decisions about which product to buy.

“One of the challenges here is trying to keep up with the context when consumers make decisions about these purchases,” he said.

According to an AP-NORC poll, a majority of American adults are unlikely to install solar panels or buy an electric vehicle in the next three years. At least half of them say financial incentives do not influence their decisions.

Homeowners are usually reluctant to replace a furnace or water heater until they absolutely have to pay for it.

DR Richardson, co-founder of Elephant Energy in Colorado, said: Companies that help homeowners install electric heat pumps and other appliances. That’s the biggest challenge.”

Most homeowners don’t understand which amenities qualify for rebates and tax credits. Even contractors aren’t always aware, says Richardson. Some heat pumps qualify for full rebates, while some heat pumps do not or only qualify for partial rebates.

“So if you’re not used to working with creating spreadsheets to analyze and understand all of this, it’s just a nightmare,” he said.

Also, not all incentives are available. People can get tax breaks on the price of electric cars, solar panels, heat pumps, Rebates are not yet available for low- and middle-income Americans looking to make their homes more energy efficient. The Department of Energy is still developing a system for distributing that money.

Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council in the Obama administration, learned during her tenure that it is important for the government to invest in policy implementation.

“We advocates and policy makers often applaud when a policy is enacted and then pay no attention to it,” she said. We need to design ways to help governments understand the steps they can take and how to facilitate that.

The Department of Energy has begun releasing information to states about a $9 billion allocation to support home energy upgrades, such as home weatherproofing and heat pump installations.

Also, Mr. Biden, a self-proclaimed “car guy”, is committed to popularizing electric vehicles. detroit auto show September and in the TV series “Jay Leno’s Garage”.

Donnel Baird, founder and CEO of Brooklyn, N.Y.-based BlockPower, a company that partners with utilities, government agencies and building owners to improve energy efficiency, helps Lowe’s and other retailers has worked with us to promote eco-friendly electronics.

The idea, according to Baird, “is that the checkout clerk says, ‘If you don’t get the gas lawn mower and get the green mower instead, you can get a tax credit.'” ”. Baird said he is confident the tax credits and other benefits of the climate change law will become better known as a result.

“It took years for the ACA to get going,” he said, referring to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. “I think the same thing could happen with this law.”

Dan Pfeiffer, former top communications adviser to President Barack Obama, sees another lesson in the Affordable Care Act.

“The ACA has become more popular the more Republicans have tried to repeal it,” he said, adding that Biden is using Republican efforts to return to anti-inflation laws to draw more attention to the law’s benefits. suggested to collect

“There’s no question the White House has thought of all this,” Pfeiffer said. But the problem is that none of them are easy.

He added: “Most of the work starts now.”