I closely follow the adoption of new environment-related laws. And most of the time I’m pretty disappointed. The climate crisis is already affecting us, and I want stronger regulations and incentives to make our economy more sustainable. But two environmental political decisions gave me a real sense of satisfaction: the Infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
The latter should direct $400 billion of government spending toward green energy. This is the largest American bill acting to mitigate climate change in the history of Congress. And since the IRA passed, a few founders told me it was already helping their businesses.
The IRA is exciting for investors because it directly reduces the price of cleantech startups’ products and incentivizes customers to buy them. Let’s look at a few companies that raised on equity crowdfunding platforms and benefit from the IRA’s tax credit.
Battery storage – 30% tax credit
Joule Case, a recent Deal to Watch, sells portable and stackable batteries primarily for B2B users, but also for B2C customers. The latter can benefit from a 30% tax credit on purchasing batteries of at least 3kWh from Joule Case – whether they are linked to a solar system or not.
Reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in ports – $3 billion
Greener Process Systems, currently raising on Raise Green, commercializes systems to capture air pollution from merchandise boats in ports. Potential clients may get financial support to install the company’s systems from the IRA. The bill includes $3 billion in grants to reduce air pollution in ports.
Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency – $5 per square foot
Autocase is a software helping architects design buildings based on ESG principles. The buildings built with the software, like San Francisco’s International Terminal, reduce water use, improve comfort, and are more energy efficient. On this last point, owners of commercial buildings built with Autocase’s software may receive a tax credit of $5 per square foot. This can boost the demand for energy adoption buildings, and architects could increasingly adopt software like Autocase and its competitors.
Solar+Battery systems – 30% tax credit on solar
YouSolar, a previous Neutral Deal, sells residential solar+battery systems. The startup’s customers will now have access to a 30% tax credit on the entire cost of YouSolar’s systems. This can incentivize customers to install clean and reliable energy systems at home.
Electric Vehicle Purchase – $7,500 for new vehicles
The IRA’s electric vehicle portion of the bill is meant to boost American manufacturing. Customers can only buy cars with a battery higher than 7kWh assembled in the United States to benefit from the $7,500 tax credit. While the credit may not apply to some EV companies raising money online, the overall boost in EV purchases in the country will surely benefit EV charger companies, such as the previous Deal to Watch HEVO, a wireless charger technology startup.
Non-IRA credit for e-bikes – up to $1,500 (if you don’t earn too much)
Civilized Cycles and other e-bike companies’ customers can get a 30% tax credit (capped at $1,500) on e-bikes costing less than $8,000. This tax credit was recently updated by Congress, and given the number of new e-bike companies raising online, investors should know about it, even if it wasn’t part of the IRA. Only customers with an income less than $150,000 as single taxpayers, less than $225,000 as households, or less than $300,000 as married and filing jointly will benefit from it. This means that a minimum of 80% of the US population should be able to benefit from it. Boosting the adoption of e-bikes can decrease the number of cars on the road, diminish pollution in cities and increase citizens’ health.