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The Inflation Reduction Act provides $9 billion in rebates for homeowners to improve their homes’ efficiency, but how much of that billion-dollar pie are you prepared to take advantage of? Given your skills as a contractor, experience, and expertise, you are uniquely qualified to expand your services within the high-performing homes industry to maximize profits from the IRA.

HVAC and Solar Contractors

HVAC contractors fully understand how to provide the insulation, air sealing, and ventilation services partially funded by the IRA, but might they benefit from expanding into installing solar panels and solar battery storage? On the flip side, might solar contractors benefit from expanding their services into insulation, air sealing, and ventilation services? Both approaches offer opportunities for these contractors to expand the IRA-supported services they can provide to their customers.

Energy-Efficiency Possibilities

Beyond HVAC and solar power services, the IRA also dedicates money to:

  • Water heaters/heat pump water heaters

  • Energy-efficient windows and doors

  • Electric stoves/cooktops/ranges/ovens

  • Clothes dryers

  • Electric wiring

  • Breaker box replacement

  • Wind power

  • Geothermal heating

  • Weatherization

Adding these service offerings to your business not only increases your opportunity to benefit from the IRA, but they also enable you to reach more customers.

Partner, Outsource, or Grow

When it comes to implementing these additional services, you essentially have three options: partner with another company, outsource the work, or develop the capability in-house.

A business partner arrangement can work well if you can vet and fully rely on the other company. Your business partner can drive sales to you and you can reciprocate by driving sales in their area of expertise back to them. Potentially, each business could earn a commission on successful referrals. On the downside, you can’t control their level of customer service and execution standards, which is why finding a partner you can trust is imperative. Thankfully, Pearl Network Contractors have the added advantage of being able to locate fellow Pearl Network Contractors using the Green Door contractor search functionality, giving them peace of mind that their partner has also been vetted by Pearl and meets the same high-quality standards.

If you outsource the work, your revenue potential tends to increase because you’re overseeing the entire operation. However, customers tend to view your business and the business you outsource as one and the same. Therefore, any shortcomings on behalf of the outsourced company could negatively impact your brand.

Lastly, you could bring the additional services earmarked for IRA funds into your core business model. This option gives you complete control over your workforce, employee training, customer service, and execution standards. But hiring additional employees and training them are not small matters. Keep in mind that the IRA does allocate funds for employee training, though particulars will vary by state and are yet to be determined.

Watch Out for Stipulations

Just because an energy-efficient upgrade is included on the above list does not mean it will receive the full IRA tax credit/rebate allotted for that particular installation. To protect consumers and to ensure IRA money is spent how the federal government intends, the IRA incudes a number of provisions that must be met for the upgrade to qualify for the full amount designated by the IRA. Examples of some IRA stipulations include:

  • Workers must be compensated at or above prevailing wages;

  • A percentage of the work must be completed by workers in an approved apprenticeship program;

  • Any steel, iron, or manufactured product component of a solar system must be produced in the United States;

  • Home energy retrofits must be third-party certified and capture the projected energy savings of the work performed.

Thankfully, Pearl Certification works closely with state energy offices to promote contractors’ interests in the parts of the IRA implementation that are still being written, giving Pearl a front seat to the requirements being developed. Pearl also educates its Network Contractors on how to maximize their success with the IRA and update them as new IRA guidelines become available. Pearl endeavors to prepare its Network Contractors to take advantage of IRA rebates/tax credits as soon as they become available. Perhaps most importantly, Pearl Certification provides its Network Contractors with the third-party certification required by the IRA.

The IRA rebates/tax credits will be available for at least the next 10 years and possibly beyond, so expanding your services could potentially benefit your business for more than a decade. Although government rebates may expire at that point, your expanded service offerings will continue to benefit your business by addressing more customer needs and therefore more potential customers.

With literally hundreds of pages capturing the complexities of the IRA, we understand that this legislation is particularly convoluted. Pearl Certification is here to help you navigate the IRA maze. Email [email protected] with your IRA questions.

From offering third-party certifications to learning about IRA updates first, Pearl Network Contractors are especially equipped to succeed with the IRA. Complete the form below to learn more about becoming a Pearl Network Contractor and setting up your business for success with the IRA.

Join the Pearl Network.

Only Pearl Network Contractors are authorized to offer Pearl Certification — and only contractors who have demonstrated exceptional quality and service are accepted into the network. Complete the form to learn how joining the Pearl Network can drive leads, close more opportunities, and set you apart from the competition.

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