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Happy birthday, Inflation Reduction Act. Here’s where the climate money is starting to go in NH.

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Dan Tuohy
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The federal Inflation Reduction Act, which marked a first-of-its-kind investment in climate solutions, was signed one year ago. But much of the funding from that law is still in the beginning stages of making its way to Granite Staters.

The law promises money for a wide range of efforts that could help fight climate change — including rebates that could make upgrading a home with climate-smart appliances less expensive. Right now, that money is still being filtered through various programs in federal and state agencies.

Two big initiatives are coming through New Hampshire’s Department of Energy. That agency is responsible for managing the rollout of about $70 million, expected to be available to residents for rebates on things like heat pumps, electric stoves and insulation.

Chris Ellms, deputy commissioner of the Department of Energy, said the agency anticipates submitting an application for that program before the deadline of Jan. 31, 2025.

State officials are still discussing how they plan to design the program and have applied for additional funding from the federal government to hire dedicated staff, according to Ellms.

“We have stressed to [the U.S. Department of Energy] the importance of getting these early funds awarded to allow small states in particular to appropriately staff for the development of these new programs,” he said in an email.

The state Department of Energy is also applying for money from the Solar for All program, which would help low-income families access solar energy. Elms said the state has submitted a notice of intent to apply for those funds, and the deadline for an application is Sept. 26.

Another major effort is underway at New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services, where officials are planning to use some Inflation Reduction Act money to update the state’s climate plan. That plan was created in 2009 and hasn’t been updated since.

The updated plan is due in March, and could open up funding opportunities for climate reduction measures in the state.

The Department of Environmental Services is also planning to apply for money to help communities on the Seacoast adapt to climate change, among other streams of funding.

Mara Hoplamazian reports on climate change, energy, and the environment for NHPR.
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