Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act
A Conversation with Michael Forrester, Principal Deputy Director, Office of State and Community Energy Programs, U.S. Department of Energy
Last August, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which will provide a historic $369 billion in investments and incentives aimed at accelerating the transition to a clean-energy economy.
States have been at the forefront in implementing policies to promote clean energy and address climate change, and the IRA is expected to speed those plans using a range of “carrots” – in the form of a long-term extension of tax incentives for solar, wind, batteries, and other emission-free technologies; tax credits and rebates for households to purchase heat pumps and highly efficient electric appliances; and billions to upgrade affordable housing and help coastal communities become more resilient to the impacts of severe weather and storm surges. The law also allocates $27 billion for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which will support competitive grants to state green banks to invest in innovative projects to reduce emissions.
On April 21, the CSG East Energy and Environment Committee hosted a lunchtime virtual conversation with Michael Forrester, principal deputy director in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs, who discussed the Inflation Reduction Act housing rebate programs, including the Residential Efficiency Rebates for low-income and market-rate housing, and the Residential Electrification Rebates for low- and moderate-income households.
The discussion was moderated by Massachusetts state Senator Marc Pacheco, co-chair of the CSG East Energy and Environment Committee.
You can view a video of the presentation below.
Michael Forrester is the principal deputy director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs. He previously served as the director for Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability (OES). While at Cincinnati, Michael lead the installation of, what at the time was, the first municipally led solar array in the country (100 megawatts). Michael also led installation of energy efficiency and renewable installations on city facilities, city efforts on vehicle electrification, and focused on climate equity with both the low-income energy efficiency program, Warm-up Cincy, and the neighborhood climate planning program Climate Safe Neighborhoods. Before coming to Cincinnati, Michael worked for the Ohio Development Service Agency in the State Energy Office administering programs for the installation of wind, solar, and anaerobic digesters throughout Ohio. Michael has a master’s degree from Indiana University and an undergraduate from Miami University.