12 Days of Decarbonization

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‘Tis the season! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and as the winter chill settles in and sparkly lights adorn our buildings, we’re excited to share the gift of a cleaner, decarbonized future for Minnesotans. Welcome to the “12 Days of Decarbonization!” Every day from now until the winter solstice, we’ll share a new daily tip to guide you through electrifying your home and infusing the spirit of sustainability into your season.

In the spirit of seasonal cheer, we’re amplifying how the way we travel, heat, cool, cook, and power the appliances in our homes is undergoing a massive transformation as we switch from fossil-fuel based energy sources to instead electrify our lives with clean electricity. Each daily decarbonization tip is sure to make your home (even more) merry and bright.

This festive journey is powered by historic federal investments provided by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and state investments here in Minnesota. Fresh Energy’s team of clean energy experts has made it easier than ever to decarbonize your life, from improving your home’s insulation to driving an electric vehicle complete with a big, red bow on top. This isn’t just about saving the North Pole from a warming climate—it’s a present that saves money and spreads joy throughout our communities, too.

Join us on this cheerful journey to make every day a holiday for a cleaner Minnesota. And you can learn more about the exciting tax credits and rebates that we mentioned below at our special “Electrification and You” resource site.

12 Days of Decarbonization

1. Home energy audits

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Day 1 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: The best first step in decarbonizing your home is to conduct a home energy audit. This entails measuring your home’s energy performance so that you know what improvements to make that will have the biggest energy savings. Uncover energy-saving revelations, from an uninsulated attic to upgrading those vintage, leaky windows. Plus, save big with a 30% federal tax credit (up to $150) and potential utility discounts.

2. Heat pumps (air-source and ground-source)

Day 2 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Level up your home’s climate control with heat pumps and say goodbye to using fossil fuels to heat your home! Whether it’s air- or ground-source, these efficient systems keep you cozy in winter and cool in summer. Plus, you can enjoy a 30% federal tax credit for up to $2,000 to install one in your home and enjoy a cleaner, energy-efficient home.

3. EVs (new and used)

Day 3 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Ditch the gas guzzler for an electric vehicle and you could enjoy big savings with up to $7,500 federal tax credit, depending on whether the vehicle meets criteria. And no, you don’t have to buy new to enjoy decarbonizing your life—used EVs could qualify for a $600 state rebate or a tax credit for 30% of its cost, up to $4,000. Not only will you enjoy fewer emissions, but you’ll also be upgrading your ride for one with better traction and control in winter weather.

4. Energy-Efficient Windows

Day 4 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Transform your home with energy-efficient windows—they reduce heat loss by a whopping 30%! That means big savings on your heating bill thanks to using less energy, and a new federal tax credit will help consumers save 30% of the cost of new energy-efficient windows, up to $600/year. Not ready for a window swap? No problem! Seal the leaks with caulking, weatherstripping, or opt for window coverings and solar control film to reduce air and thermal leaks during the cold winter months.

5. Electric Vehicle charger

Day 5 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Electric vehicles are a great way to decarbonize your life, and one of the most convenient perks of driving an EV is the ease of charging up at home. Fortunately, a new income- and geographic-based federal tax credit will cover 30% of the cost and installation (up to $1,000) of an EV charger in the garages of qualifying customers. Not only does this dodge the emissions from driving an internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, but it also means speedy home charging. Bonus: link up with your utility for a wallet-friendly, clean power setup to fuel your EV with renewable energy.

6. Insulation & Air Sealing Materials

Day 6 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: As Minnesotans, we know how cold it can get in the winter—and improving the insulation in your home is a great way to create a cozy, energy-efficient home. Insulation acts as a warm winter jacket for your home, trapping the warm temperature inside your home to keep you comfortable and saving you money. Beat the winter chill and elevate your home’s efficiency without breaking the bank, thanks to a federal tax credit covering 30% of the insulation cost.

7. Electric Panel Upgrade

Day 7 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Uncover the key to unlocking home decarbonization—your electric panel! Before diving into a cleaner lifestyle with electric water heaters, heat pumps, or EV chargers, a panel upgrade might be necessary to handle the additional flow of electricity. Power up your electrified building with a federal tax credit to cover 30% of the cost (up to $600) plus a forthcoming state rebate program, too.

8. Heat Pump Water Heater

Day 8 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Swap your natural gas-fired water heater for a game-changing heat pump version! One unit slashes one ton of CO2 a year, about the same as installing six solar panels—and over one-third of Midwesterners already have an electric water heater! Join the trend, because new funding makes it an easy decision: a federal tax credit will cover 30% of the cost, up to $2,000, and a new state rebate is in the works.

9. Battery Storage

Day 9 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Amp up your clean home with a home battery storage system—a perfect match with solar panels! Harness clean energy right at home and embrace a future with cleaner, more reliable electricity. Ready to upgrade? Utilize a federal tax credit that can cover 30% of the cost.

10. Energy Efficient Exterior Doors

Day 10 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Nothing ruins the holiday party faster than a cold draft wafting in through the gap around your home’s door. Stop drafts in their tracks with an energy-efficient exterior door, and splurge your heat savings on a festive gift. “Seal” the deal with a federal tax credit that will cover 30% of the cost, up to $500.

11. Rooftop Solar at Home

Day 11 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Lots of Minnesotans are excited about placing solar panels on or near their homes. It’s a great way to decarbonize your life and enjoy energy savings, since they usually pay for themselves within 8-10 years—and you might see savings even faster by taking advantage of a federal tax credit that will cover 30% of the cost.

12. E-bike

Day 12 of 12 Days of Decarbonization: Whether you spend your winter enjoying the cold, snowy weather or dream of warmer summer days, cruising on an electric bike is a cool way to slash emissions and spark more joy in your life! Keep an eye on the state’s plans for a new rebate that covers 75% of the sale price of a new e-bike (up to $1,500) for income-qualified customers (limited funds will be available!), and don’t forget those warm winter gloves for chilly rides over the next few months.