Highlights from New rules for the Inflation Reduction Act

Cutting through the rumors around the IRA to uncover what solar businesses actually need to know
Author : 
August 22, 2023

It’s been over six months since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed, but many solar businesses are still confused about what this law actually means for the solar industry.  In fact, in an updated poll of over 100 solar businesses, 77% of respondents either didn’t know anything about the Inflation Reduction Act or felt as though they only knew the headlines.

That’s why we teamed up with solar policy pros to walk our audience through the most important aspects of the IRA, as well as answer additional questions.

The special event was moderated by Scott Nguyen, CEO of Bodhi.  Our panelists were:

  • David Dunlap — Vice President of Product Strategy, BayWa r.e.
  • Zoë Gaston — Principal Analyst, US Solar, Wood Mackenzie
  • Corey Ramsden — Vice President, Go Solar Programs, Solar United Neighbors

Below, you’ll find one key takeaway from each panelist, as well as some additional resources to help you get the most out of the Inflation Reduction Act.

David Dunlap, BayWa r.e. —  “Even if it makes it harder to sell at the kitchen table, solar installers need to embrace the idea that they’re not just installing a power plant.   Because with the IRA, installers now have the power to help homeowners take control of the entire energy management system and the electrification of a building.”

Zoë Gaston, Wood Mackenzie —  “Wood Mackenzie is expecting 2023 to be a slowdown for the solar industry compared to 2022, with about 7% growth for this year instead of 2022’s 40% growth.  Part of the reason is a big product shift in the industry, where interest rate increases mean higher APR loan products and more players starting to offer leases and PPAs to try and qualify for ITC bonus adders. The required sales adjustments to get back to higher levels of growth take time. ”

Corey Ramsden, Solar United Neighbors —  “Because of direct pay and the way it changes the economics, my advice is that if you do small commercial work, figure out a financing package where you can work with nonprofits directly. By building that as a business line, you can cater to a market that has previously been pretty underserved.”

Other Inflation Reduction Act resources for solar

  • Solar United Neighbors’ guide to applying for the “farm adder” aka the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) federal grant.  This guide walks solar businesses through the process of applying for a REAP grant so that you can offer further incentives to rural homeowners to go solar.
  • If you’re looking to more broadly understand if your area applies for the REAP grant, you can use the USDA’s mapping tool.
  • If you’re looking to understand more about the energy efficiency provisions in the IRA, we recommend reaching out to Pearl Certification, who will likely be able to answer your questions.
  • Finally, if you’re looking for a calculator to either pass along to homeowners or use as an additional resource in your proposal development, we recommend this IRA calculator from Rewiring America.

To learn more, watch the recording of the panel below:

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