Apr 10, 2023
IRA Rollouts: How to Talk With Customers About Incentives
Uncertain about how to talk to customers about the IRA rebates and incentives? Here are some strategies to help guide the conversation.
By: Bethany Violette
The Inflation Reduction Act has been a hot topic since the bill was first passed in August. While the funds have been allocated for the IRA rebates, there is still a lot unknown about when they will be available in most states. As more homeowners become aware of IRA incentives, there is growing concern that many will decide to hold off on scheduling services until rebates are available and they can maximize their savings. This is why it is important to have strategies in place for how you communicate with customers about the IRA and its benefits.
At Energy Circle, we’ve put a lot of work into understanding the Inflation Reduction Act, and how it will affect our industry. There are several actions you can take now to keep your business moving forward—let’s dive into them.
Benefits of Becoming a Trusted IRA Authority
With several big-name news outlets—like The New York Times and Forbes—reporting on the Inflation Reduction Act rebates, consumer interest is building way in advance of the funds actually becoming available. While the 30% home improvement and 30% solar tax credits are available now, much of the hype has been focused on the rebates. This means that your customers are likely to ask you about how they can take advantage of the IRA rebates. If you don’t provide them with answers, someone else will.
The Inflation Reduction Act announcement has brought with it a lot of new competition in the energy efficiency industry. Businesses like Sealed, Elephant Energy, and Station A promote curated planning services aimed at providing guidance through each state’s complicated incentive programs. These services provide an exciting opportunity for the industry that has previously been unexplored and their marketing tactics are aggressive.
Becoming a trusted authority for your new and current customers will benefit your business in the long run. Even if your state has a lot of unknowns when it comes to the Inflation Reduction Act, here are some ways to keep customers informed:
- Whether you want to be aggressive with your marketing or not, find what positioning works best for your company.
- Get a handle on data management. Keep track of certain customers that want to wait for the rebates and shift your communication to overcome those challenges.
- Build a timeline for your content. Projects will need to be completed by the end of the year in order to qualify for tax credits, so plan your marketing campaigns accordingly. Start building custom audiences now with targeted ads.
- Engage with your state. Staying informed on what your state is doing with IRA rebates will only make it easier for you to relay that information to customers.
How to Talk About IRA Rebates With Homeowners
The truth is that everyone—experts, contractors, and homeowners alike—is confused about the details of the rollout of the IRA rebates. Even though we don’t know when the rebates will be available, it’s important to keep your business moving forward. Here are some strategies that can keep homeowners informed while also encouraging them to act now.
Talk About IRA Tax Credits
The IRA tax credits are great incentives on their own, and they’re available now. Focus your attention on the savings homeowners are already eligible for.
Offer a Planning Process
Guidance and ease through the IRA process is crucial because, as we’ve said, everyone is confused. Since the tax credits have an annual cap on services, help your customers maximize their benefits with a detailed plan. These services are working for newcomers in the industry—they can work for you too.
Build an Incentives Landing Page
Building a foundational landing page about financing and incentives will optimize your web presence. These pages can be the workhorse for your content and provide valuable information to homeowners.
Express the Importance of Acting Now
States have 2 years to apply for the IRA rebates, and some of them might not even apply at all. As our friends at Sealed point out, waiting to make energy-efficient upgrades in hopes of saving more with rebates could end up being more costly. Talk to homeowners about the benefits of acting now. For example, many states already offer non-IRA incentives for energy upgrades; they can be a good starting point for a conversation. Here are some other ideas:
- Every month a customer waits to upgrade is a month they’ll continue to pay more than they need to in heating and cooling costs.
- Once the IRA rebates do become available, there could be extended wait times for services as contractors are overbooked and scheduled out months in advance.
- Energy inefficiencies can also cause health and structural issues for a home.
This article originally appeared in the Energy Circle blog and is republished with permission.
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