3 clever ways to get cash to green your home


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If you’ve been putting off buying a new furnace – or considering swapping out your suddenly controversial gas stove (more about that later) – 2023 is a good time to upgrade.

Why? Two words: Federal incentives.

But where should you start? For the average U.S. household, these three upgrades will make a big dent in your carbon footprint.

Swap gas-powered appliances for electric

If recent news about the link between gas stoves and asthma has you giving your range the side-eye, it’s worth noting that the Inflation Reduction Act offers a rebate of up to $840 on the purchase of a new electric stove, cooktop, range or oven.

That’s because gas stoves leak methane, a potent greenhouse gas, even when they aren’t being used. It’s estimated that stoves across the U.S. emit as much climate pollution as about 500,000 gas-powered cars.

The new law also provides rebates on appliances like clothes dryers and water heaters. In fact, low- and moderate-income households can get up to 100% of the cost of a heat-pump water heater or clothes dryer covered.

But is it worth the hassle? When you consider that gas and fuel oil used for heating, hot water and cooking makes up more than 10% of carbon emissions in the U.S. – yes.

Getting rid of your gas-powered appliances allows you to run your home on an increasingly renewable grid as investments from the bipartisan infrastructure law roll out. The other reason to consider replacing gas-powered appliances is potential leaks. Even small leaks of methane pack a much bigger planet-warming punch than carbon dioxide emissions in the short term. (On the positive side, that also means cutting methane emissions could slow the rate of global warming quickly.)

So, if you’re in the market for a new dryer, water heater or stove – 2023 is a good time to go electric. Check here to see how much you could save.

Replace your furnace with a heat pump

Aging furnace or boiler? Consider replacing it with a heat pump. Heat pumps do not directly burn fossil fuels to create heat. Instead, a heat pump keeps your home comfortable by moving warm air into your home in the winter – and out of your home in the summer. That means a heat pump can take the place of not only your furnace, but your air conditioner as well.

They are also more efficient. An air-source heat pump can provide up to three times more heat than the electricity it consumes. And when you consider that heating is the largest direct use of fossil fuels in buildings, heat pumps reduce your carbon footprint while you enjoy an immediate drop in your monthly gas bill.

But this is a big purchase. Installing an air-source heat pump can cost anywhere from $2,000 to more than $10,000, depending on your needs. (Though the true cost is really the difference between installing a heat pump and what you would have spent on a new boiler or furnace along with a new air conditioning unit.)

Incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act defray the cost through both upfront discounts on installation and tax credits. Some households can save as much as $8,000 on the purchase of a heat pump.

Get solar panels

There has never been a better time to go solar in the U.S.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes an income tax credit that covers 30% of the cost of clean energy equipment like solar panels. And, while upfront costs can be substantial – an average 6kW rooftop solar installation cost $15,300 in 2022 – this is an investment that pays you back: Most people recoup the cost of installing a solar-powered system within 12 years through savings on electricity costs.

When it comes to your carbon footprint, powering your home with solar energy is carbon free. In some places, the electricity your home generates can even flow back into the grid and decrease the amount of fossil fuels burned by your utility company. (And if you have battery storage, you’ll be able to keep the lights on even if your neighborhood loses power.)

Because of the high upfront cost, many states offer additional incentives on top of the federal tax credit. You can find out if your state is one of them here – and learn more about all credits and rebates included in the Inflation Reduction Act here.

This story is a part of our Inflation Reduction Act and You series.


  • More from MediaFeed:
  • 5 affordable ways to make your house more green


Being more conscious of our impact on the environment is becoming increasingly important. With Earth Day on April 22, now may be the time to take small steps to become more environmentally friendly.

By making some simple changes in your household, you can begin to play a role in protecting the environment. And the best part? It doesn’t require spending a fortune.

“Living a green lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive. As the world goes through a green revolution, living a cleaner life becomes more affordable and easier to start,” says Matthias Alleckna, energy industry analyst for EnergyRates.ca, an energy comparison website.




Switching the light bulbs throughout your home to LED bulbs is one of the simplest ways to reduce your energy usage and your energy bill.

LED lights use 75% less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, said Alleckna. The average cost of an LED bulb is about $5 and they last about 25,000 hours, according to eartheasy.

“These numbers may not sound like much, but if you apply that calculation to every light bulb in your home, including the time each one of them is on every day, you will find surprising results,” he said.

Here are some more ways to avoid letting your lights burn your budget.




Smart thermostats are another way to reduce your home’s energy consumption. These thermostats are known for being able to automatically adjust the temperature of your home based on your preferences and behaviors.

“A smart thermostat will allow you to reduce up to 20% in heating or cooling expenses per year,” said Alleckna. (Here are some other ways to lower your heat bill.)

You also don’t have to spend a fortune to get a smart thermostat. Consumer Reports highlights on many options — from Ecobee, Honeywell and Nest — available for less than $200.




When it comes to making your house more environmentally friendly, you should include landscaping.

Cassy Aoyagi, board member of the Los Angeles chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, suggests planting native perennials.

“The annual flowers we plant each year cost both time and money and have an outsized ecological impact,” she said. “Native plants create habitat for fauna, eliminate the need for toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, use less water and save money and time year over year.”




One of the most significant ways to make your home greener is by switching to solar. While it’s not the cheapest option, it also doesn’t have to be prohibitive.

“There are a number of solar companies that offer programs where they foot the cost of installing solar on your rooftop and you simply pay them the monthly fee for your electric use rather than your usual local utility company,” said Maya van Rossum, author of The Green Amendment: Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment.

There are an increasing number of state programs that support solar. The U.S. government also offers a 30% solar tax credit. You can learn more about going solar here.




Adopting the “reduce, reuse, recycle,” philosophy is perhaps one of the most important changes to make when creating a greener household.

“When you talk with people about environmentalism they often come back with ‘I recycle,’” says van Rossum. “Most people forget the first two and more important two Rs on the list – reduce and reuse.”

You can start adopting these measures by cutting down on the amount of plastic and disposables used. Think: reusable coffee cups, straws (like metal straws), cloth shopping bags, food storage bags and water bottles, to name just a few.

Need some inspiration to get started? Check out Tom Szaky’s story on how he created a company that “recycles the unrecyclable.”

This article originally appeared on Policygenius and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.




Featured Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.