Reduce Air Pollution with Electric Lawn Equipment
For residents who want to use more than a snow shovel or lawn rake to tackle fall and winter outdoor chores, but also want to do their part for clean air, state tax credits start Jan. 1 for businesses selling residential-level electric-powered lawn and snow equipment.
Customers will see a 30% decrease on the manufacturer price and the businesses will receive reimbursement through state tax credits. The new law is part of Senate Bill 23-016 “Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Measures” finalized in May.
The law notes that gasoline-powered equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers and snowblowers emit high levels of air pollutants including nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that together form ozone and particulate matter.
Reducing Air Pollution
According to an October report, Grand County had 1,431 tons of carbon monoxide emissions from lawn equipment in 2020. The county produced .97 tons of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), which is equivalent to the emissions of 10,389 cars.
In Routt County, lawn and garden equipment emitted as much fine particulate pollution in 2020 as 27,000 cars, noted Kirsten Schatz, clean air advocate at nonprofit CoPIRG Foundation, or Colorado Public Interest Research Group, in Denver.
Clean air advocates say electric lawn and garden alternatives are readily available that are cleaner, quieter, capable, and affordable. Participating retailers in the region for the reduced prices starting in January include Lowe’s and Steamboat Ace Hardware.
Benefits of Electric Equipment
Small push mowers and handheld lawn equipment are actually pound per pound more polluting because of engine technology. It mixes oil and fuel together with little to no emissions controls. CoPIRG said improvements in equipment technology in recent years, plus the state tax credit, make it a prime time to switch to a new generation of clean, quieter electric lawn equipment.
“It’s absurd that we have been tolerating so much harmful pollution and noise just to cut grass and maintain landscapes,” said Schatz.
Rechargeable Battery-Powered Equipment
Seasonal Department Manager Lianna Luallin at Steamboat Ace Hardware said sales of rechargeable battery-powered EGO leaf blowers, chainsaws, and snowblowers have been brisk in the past year. In EGO products, Steamboat Ace sold 116 chainsaws, 109 snowblowers, and 103 leaf blowers, Luallin said.
Luallin said she personally is an EGO customer and enjoys the fact that the rechargeable battery equipment does not require oil and gas maintenance. “They are a lot more user- and eco-friendly, and the EGO customer service is top notch,” Luallin said.
Health and Environmental Impact
Using gas-powered equipment causes unnecessary pollution that imposes a significant health cost. The pollutants emitted by gas-powered lawn equipment include fine particulates (PM2.5), ozone-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and air toxics such as benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and formaldehyde. Exposure to these pollutants in our air has been linked to health problems including asthma attacks, reproductive ailments, mental health challenges, and cancer.
Schatz said the top five Colorado counties in terms of fine particulate matter pollution in 2020 included Arapahoe, Jefferson, El Paso, Adams, and Douglas.
Federal tax credits for Businesses
Schatz pointed out that federal tax credits to businesses to purchase electric-powered commercial-grade, larger riding mowers have been available since January through federal incentives. That tax credit through the Inflation Reduction Act is 30% or up to $7,500 per mower.
Yampa Valley Electric Association
Yampa Valley Electric Association member-customers were able to take advantage of $150 rebates on electric-powered lawn maintenance equipment and snowblowers as part of the Energy Hero rebate program. The “first come, first serve” rebates closed in June for 2023.
This story is from Steamboat Pilot & Today.
Read More of this Story at www.skyhinews.com – 2023-11-19 16:00:00
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