ECO-NEWS

 HOME ENERGY INCENTIVES
(CLIMATE BILL PASSED)

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  • Purchasing electric vehicles: The Inflation Reduction Act offers up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a new electric vehicle or up to $4,000 toward the purchase of a used electric vehicle. Eligibility is capped so that these credits are not available to the wealthiest families—those earning more than $300,000 per year for new vehicles or $150,000 per year for used vehicles.

  • Installing rooftop solar: The Inflation Reduction Act provides for 30 percent off the cost of rooftop solar, which amounts to average savings of $7,000, according to estimates from the Sierra Club. The bill also offers 30 percent off the cost of home batteries for the first time.

  • Switching to electric appliances: The Inflation Reduction Act offers homes up to $14,000 in rebates to switch over to electric appliances—covering up to 50 percent of the costs for moderate-income households and 100 percent of the costs for low-income households. The total program is capped at $4.5 billion. This includes up to:

    • $8,000 for a heat pump, which serves as an air conditioner in the summer and heater in the winter

    • $1,750 for a high-efficiency, all-electric heat pump water heater

    • $840 for an electric induction cooktop

    • $840 for a high-efficiency all-electric heat pump clothes dryer

    • Up to $9,100 for enabling improvements to the electric panel, wiring, and home insulation

  • Improving energy efficiency: An alternative rebate option offers to cover more than 50 percent of the cost of whole-home energy efficiency retrofit or more than 80 percent in the case of homes occupied by low- or moderate-income households. Households that do not participate in either rebate program can still claim a variety of home energy tax credits, which are improved and extended for 10 years by the bill.

  • Making major investments in affordable housing and multifamily rental units: The Inflation Reduction Act’s investment incentives aren’t just for individual homeowners; in fact, the bill provides rebates of up to $400,000 for whole-building energy efficiency retrofits in large multifamily apartment buildings as well as grants and loans worth $1 billion in total for improving efficiency and installing zero-emission equipment in affordable housing units.

CO-OPS

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TRADE SHOWS

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This AI-Designed Enzyme Can Devour Plastic Trash In Hours

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Scientists have developed a new enzyme variant that can completely break down waste plastic in under 24 hours, raising hopes that biological processes could provide a route to addressing perhaps part of the world’s mounting plastic crisis.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin announced Thursday that they had used artificial intelligence to successfully engineer a type of enzyme, called a hydrolase, that can break down PET plastic into its component molecules. These materials can then be reformed into new products. 

“The possibilities are endless across industries to leverage this leading-edge recycling process,” said Hal Alper, one of the lead researchers and a professor in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering at UT Austin. “Beyond the obvious waste management industry, this also provides corporations from every sector the opportunity to take a lead in recycling their products. Through these more sustainable enzyme approaches, we can begin to envision a true circular plastics economy.” 

In sufficient quantities, the enzyme could be used to clean up plastic-strewn landfills and waste plants, or simply sites that have been polluted by plastics.

With 400 million tons of plastic being disposed of every year, new solutions to the plastic waste crisis are badly needed. Less than 10% of the world’s plastic trash is recycled; the rest breaks down in the environment, polluting the water, the food chain, and even the air. As a result, plastic has now been found everywhere on Earth, from the atmosphere to human blood.

This AI-Designed Enzyme Can Devour Plastic Trash In Hours

Extreme Weather and How to Adapt to It - from Yale Climate Connections

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