Explaining climate-friendly incentives isn’t enough

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Last week’s Washington Post is a great example of how hard the current landscape is to navigate for climate-conscious consumers.

In the article, the author lays out a number of rebates and tax credits available to consumers today – whether buying an electric vehicle, upgrading to a heat pump, installing solar panels, or adding battery storage, among others.

But as you read the article, one thing becomes abundantly clear: out of all of the things you could do, it’s maddeningly hard to know what you should do, let alone when. And what’s worse, the article focuses exclusively on federal incentives that will be available in 2024 from the Inflation Reduction Act – which is great, don’t get me wrong. (Seriously! The IRA is a great piece of legislation that will do a lot of good.) But many of those incentives don’t exist today, and won’t for at least several more months.

What the article fails to mention is that in some areas – like here in California – there are already substantial incentives that can be claimed today. A casual reader of last week’s Washington Post article would have no reason to think that there might be other avenues to pursue, and would consequently miss out on thousands of dollars of savings when upgrading their existing water heater (among other upgrades). Since these projects will likely take years for most homeowners to tackle over time, it’s critical that homeowners have complete, and actionable info.

This is the problem we set out to solve at Onsemble. Well-articulated incentive models are crucial, but they can sometimes lead us astray. The focus tends to shift towards the intricacies of the wording, the structure of the incentives, rather than the actual outcomes we desperately seek. Our launch last week is the first step towards a simpler approach for homeowners: instead of reading a 1200 word article laying out all the possibilities, we give you an answer, and connect you with someone who can do the work – right away, saving you thousands of dollars, not to mention hours of your time.

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