The Inflation Reduction Act invests around $34 billion in New York for large-scale clean energy generation and storage between 2022 and 2023. (Adobe Stock)

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August 16, 2023

By Edwin J. Viera

It’s been one year since the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The sweeping climate legislation has had vast impacts on New York and the nation. Along with boosting funds for climate-smart projects, the measure has expanded green-economy jobs.

A Climate Power report found the law has created 950 clean energy jobs across New York from more than $560 million in funding.

John Polimeni, a member of the Schenectady City Council, described how the law helps New York families reduce utility costs.

“Other families have struggled with high utility costs, trying to figure out how to heat and cool their homes,” Polimeni observed, adding the law “provides New Yorkers with the opportunities to purchase energy-efficient appliances that will save them money. These are real savings, with real effects.”

He added although the Inflation Reduction Act was quite expansive, it is only the beginning of the nation’s climate investment. The money allocated will also help cities brace for the impacts of climate change. Many New York communities are working to prepare for impacts such as flooding as well as longer and more frequent heat waves.

The Inflation Reduction Act also works to complement state legislation. One in particular is the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, which set New York’s 2050 net-zero emissions goal.

Asm. Angelo Santabarbara, D-Amsterdam, said the law helps eradicate barriers to disadvantaged communities adopting climate smart technologies.

“The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act embodies a broader principle of inclusivity and fairness,” Santabarbara emphasized. “It underscores that the benefits of climate action should uplift every corner of our society, particularly those that have historically faced exclusion and marginalization.”

The law includes funding projects for distributed renewable-energy generation, energy efficiency and weatherization, and zero-emission or low-emission transportation options.