The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is the largest climate-based investment ever made by the federal government with $369 billion committed by legislation on behalf of energy security and climate change mitigation over the next decade. In the October cover story of Engineered Systems Magazine, RMF’s director of sustainability, Martha Larson, along with other subject experts, dive deep into this important topic that has people talking.
Below is an excerpt from Engineering Systems Magazine’s October 7, 2022 article “Engineers React to the Inflation Reduction Act: Exploring the provisions that matter most to the commercial comfort engineering sector.” See what RMF’s Martha Larson has to say about the IRA’s potential impact on the industry and read on to get the full article. Subscriptions are FREE, so you can stay up-to-date on the latest!
Martha Larson, director of sustainability, RMF Engineering, called the legislation “significant,” stating it will serve as a catalyst to continued development.
“In just the past few years, RMF has seen exponential growth in requests for sustainable building design and energy decarbonization master plans, particularly for campus-scale district energy systems,” she said. “At this point, there are proven technologies and several completed projects that demonstrate how to achieve substantial emissions reductions within the built environment. With $369 billion focused on clean energy and carbon reduction, the IRA will have a catalyzing effect. Many plans will now move into implementation. We expect to see many more shovels in the ground.”
Larson is confident the IRA will help solve two of the firm’s decarbonization practice group’s biggest challenges: education and capital.
“The initiatives championed by the IRA are essential to increasing overall awareness and education on why electrification is a promising path toward reducing emissions,” she said. “More than raising awareness, the IRA outlines powerful financing measures that will be integral to turning ambitious emissions reduction goals into developed designs and implementation plans. Upfront capital funding is one of the biggest barriers to implementing a multiyear decarbonization plan. A life-cycle cost analysis may justify the long-term financial benefits of electrification, but managing the upfront capital costs is a challenge. The IRA promises tax credits and incentives for renewable energy and low-carbon heating and cooling equipment, which can make a low-carbon transition financially more favorable than maintaining and replacing traditional fossil fuel-based equipment. The IRA extends those credits to nonprofit entities, like colleges and universities, who can now get direct payments instead of setting up separate entities to take advantage of the incentives. As a result, we anticipate that RMF’s decarbonization practice group will soon be busier than ever as our clients begin to tap into these benefits.”