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Utilities Disregarding Federal Clean Energy Incentives, Sierra Club Finds



Washington, D.C. – Many electric utilities are not factoring federal incentives for clean energy available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into their plans for the future, according to a new Sierra Club memo


In “Leaving Money on the Table: Utilities Failing to Leverage the Inflation Reduction Act,” Sierra Club analysts studied 50 utilities that have updated their planning documents since President Biden’s landmark climate and clean energy law passed in August 2022. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Beyond Carbon, the memo reveals that nearly one third of utilities did not include the IRA’s clean energy tax credits at all in their planning models. 


Through the IRA, utilities can receive tax credits for up to 50 percent of the cost of clean energy projects such as wind, solar, and battery storage if they are made with domestically sourced materials and built in areas disproportionately impacted by fossil fuels, known as energy communities


No utility that filed an updated planning document since the IRA’s passage has adequately modeled the far-reaching implications of the law, including tax credits for sourcing domestic materials and building projects in energy communities.

In response, Sierra Club Chief Energy Officer Holly Bender released the following statement: 


“Utilities failing to include the IRA’s massive clean energy incentives is like being handed a check but failing to cash it. But it’s families that have to pay the price for utilities’ inaction on their energy bills every month, as their energy providers refuse to transition from harmful and expensive fossil fuels to more affordable, reliable clean energy. 


“The IRA can save households thousands of dollars a year in energy costs,

and reduce climate-destabilizing greenhouse gas pollution by 50 percent – but it won’t happen automatically. Utilities must take advantage of the game changing clean energy incentives, and that begins with actually incorporating the IRA into their planning. It’s time for utilities to step into true climate leadership and deliver the most affordable and efficient energy to their consumers.” 


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org

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