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New data shows surprising clean energy trend in underserved communities — here's why

The Inflation Reduction Act is already having wide-reaching benefits for communities nationwide.

The Inflation Reduction Act is already having wide-reaching benefits for communities nationwide.

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The Inflation Reduction Act is attracting billions of dollars in investment in clean energy.

Over the past year, there has been significant investment in more environmentally friendly energy projects across the United States, transforming many communities by creating new jobs and helping address health disparities in underserved communities.

Part of the IRA's goal is to encourage companies to manufacture their products in the U.S., including solar and wind power and electric vehicles.

As the Center for American Progress (CAP) outlines, new data released by the Rhodium Group and MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research shows that billions of dollars have been invested in clean energy and technology in some areas since the IRA was passed in 2022.

The data also showed that the majority of this investment has occurred in historically underserved congressional districts, where people generally have lower levels of "college educational attainment" and where wages are lower. Nearly 75% of the investments made were in areas with median incomes below the national average of close to $75,000.

Developing clean energy and technology projects in these communities provides access to entry and mid-level careers that don't require a university degree, per the CAP. Additionally, work-based training opportunities will help more people advance in their careers while also bringing the nation closer to its clean energy goals.

The IRA is already having wide-reaching benefits for communities nationwide. It has boosted the economy through job creation and is providing billions in grants, incentives, and tax breaks to help Americans upgrade their lifestyles.

These incentives could help you pay for your next EV purchase or green renovation, including the installation of solar panels or heat pumps. Not only will this help you upgrade your homes and save money on bills, but it will also prevent toxic planet-warming pollution and protect the environment — a win-win situation.

Incentives for EVs could be important in the near future as some cities, such as Sacramento, are already taking steps to phase out dirty-fuel-powered vehicles by announcing plans to ban new gas stations. The bill also positively impacts American families by reducing health care and energy costs.

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