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Insulate America Starts Now

Updated: 2 days ago

Tommy Gibbons is the Chief Innovation Officer at Hempitecture Inc. a public benefit corporation producing low-carbon, nontoxic, biobased building materials. He is also a research fellow with the Department of Energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Insulation is not something Americans spend much time thinking about. It hides in the walls as we go about our daily lives and we rarely consider whether it's working properly or if adding more insulation can save us money. Greening our lives has meant substituting pollutive energy sources with renewable ones, but what do we think of changes that reduce our energy use?

Insulate Britain was a 2021 social movement in the United Kingdom to request government support for the insulation of social housing and retrofitting private homes by 2030.

The Department of Energy, the White House, and now much of Congress agree reducing American energy use for heating and cooling buildings is an idea worth making policy. The new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) carries a swathe of incentives for making homes more energy efficient. The IRA incentives for insulation upgrades are large and available to everyone.

I share this guide because I hope you will capitalize on these incentives and be motivated to use our HempWool® insulation in your renovation. The three separate incentives are as follows (and a fourth that is directed at nonprofits):

  1. The High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebates (HEEHRA) program includes $1,600 for insulation. HEEHRA will cover 100% of insulation costs (up to $1,600) for low-income consumers and 50% of insulation costs (up to $1,600) for moderate-income consumers*.

  2. The 25C tax credit provides a 30% tax credit for insulation up to $1,200 per year for consumers of any income.

  3. Since insulation can help a larger retrofit achieve energy savings of at least 15%, it is covered by the Home Energy Performance-Based, Whole-House rebates (HOMES). Rebate amounts are below and depend on the estimated energy savings. Incentives for low-income households are doubled, or up to 80% of project costs.

  4. Retrofits with modeled energy** system savings of 35% or more: the lesser of $4,000 or 50% of project costs

  5. Retrofits with modeled energy system savings of 20-34%: the lesser of $2,000 or 50% of project costs