Our best chance to cut energy costs — and inflation — for American families

Keith Gaby

Americans judge their elected officials based on results. Right now, Congress has an opportunity to lower the cost of electricity for American families — and their children’s families. 

New independent analysis suggests that the most effective way to achieve that is through targeted investments and tax reforms that will ease long-term inflation, save today’s households money on energy costs and protect the next generation from huge expenses. 

Annual savings for every household

The Rhodium Group, an independent private-sector analysis firm, concluded that passing the Build Back Better Act will help Americans cut their energy bills — growing to $500 per year of savings. That’s significant, since $500 is more than a third of a typical American household’s yearly energy bill, according to the Energy Information Agency. 

Another independent analysis, from research group RMI, finds that the clean-energy incentives in the legislation will save utility customers and companies more than $9 billion each year. RMI breaks down the costs by state — for example, more than $750 million in savings in Florida, $500 million in Georgia, $450 million in Arizona and $400 million in West Virginia. Those savings will come from federal tax credits and lower-cost financing for utilities that will drive down costs. 

These investments are proven to work

This kind of price drop from moving to clean energy is part of a proven trend: The cost of solar dropped 90% in the 10 years after the last major federal investment in clean energy in 2009. Wind costs dropped 70%. And we can expect even more impressive results from the Build Back Better investments, which are about five times more ambitious than those in the 2009 Recovery Act. 

Moody’s and Goldman: The economy will benefit

Overall, nonpartisan rating agencies such as Moody’s Investors Service have concluded that the Build Back Better Act will ease long-term inflation. The policies in this bill and the just-passed bipartisan infrastructure legislation will, according to a Moody’s chief economist, “help to lift long-term economic growth via stronger productivity and labor force growth, and thus take the edge off of inflation.” 

This reinforces Goldman Sachs’ recent acknowledgement that Build Back Better will help the economy. In December, the firm issued a warning that if Congress does not pass Build Back Better, the U.S. economy will be significantly weaker in 2022. 

Let’s save our kids from crushing climate debt 

In addition to these economic advantages, Build Back Better would be the most ambitious climate action ever passed, which will protect our kids from future climate impacts — and the huge costs that will come with them. 

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration reported this week that the U.S. suffered 20 separate billion-dollar climate and weather disasters in 2021, one of the worst years for climate impacts on record. Those kinds of disasters — droughts, heat waves, wildfires, floods, stronger hurricanes and tornadoes — will only get worse and more costly if we don’t take action now. That’s a huge and unnecessary financial burden to leave to our kids. 

For our country’s short- and long-term economic well-being, Congress needs to deliver results for the American people. Investing in our energy future is the responsible, sensible thing to do.