Dear Energy Coach: My current car is a gasser, but my next will be electric. My question is, should I buy now or later for the best incentives?
You’re in good company. Anecdotally, I know of many WEC members and Vermonters who have decided their current combustion engine vehicle will be their last.
There’s more to take into account than just incentives, but let’s start there: Incentives are not going away. In fact, changes through the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are making those incentives more accessible. Previously, the $7,500 credit for a new EV was an incentive you claimed on your taxes, usually well after your purchase, and had value if your tax liability was high enough for it to matter, but not so high you were ineligible for it. So, it was most useful to higher-but-not-highest-income individuals.
The change that takes effect January 1, 2024 switches things around on the back end so that for buyers who are income-eligible – that’s if you make under $150,000 singly or $300,000 filing jointly – you get that $7,500 at point of sale.
So that’s a big carrot. When you’re ready to buy, I urge you to check in with me and with our friends at DriveElectricVT.org to see if you are eligible for other incentives.
Now for the other piece of the pie: Don’t go installing any Level 2 EV chargers until you know your transformer can handle it. The good news is, if your average miles per day is 50 or less, Level 1 can work – and a Level 1 can easily recharge a plug-in hybrid. But most all-electric drivers will eventually want a Level 2. Take a look at my checklist below and follow the steps. Complete that load sheet to be eligible for a Level 2 charger provided by WEC at no cost to you (to be installed by your contractor).
For more information about the EV tax credit change: electrek.co/2023/10/06/ev-tax-credit-changes-mean-low-income-buyers-can-now-get-full-7500
Have an energy question? Ask the Energy Coach: email@example.com
Adding New Electric Devices? Follow the Energy Coach’s Checklist
Buying an EV? Installing a new heat pump water heater? Before you plug in, follow these steps.
- Look at your circuit breaker box. Is it a 100 or 200 amp box? How many remaining slots are there? Take a photo.
- Call the Energy Coach to inquire about adding an EV to your peak load. What’s your historic peak load? If you email, attach the photo.
You will need to complete a LoadSheet (look for it on the Energy Coach section of wec.coop, or direct link: wec.coop/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Load-Sheet-06-2023-1.pdf ) to be eligible for a no cost Level 2 charger from WEC (to be installed by your contractor).
- WEC’s teams will assess your service. You’ll learn what, if any, work needs to be done to prepare your home electrically for EV load, about how long it will take, and how much it will cost. Service upgrades typically involve separately hiring a qualified contractor, and coordinating with WEC to make electrical improvements to increase capacity of the member’s equipment. WEC will begin performing elective service upgrades again as supply chain issues are resolved.