How to Market IRA Tax Credits: Lessons Home Contractors Can Steal from Solar
Out of everything that’s in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for HVAC, home performance, and solar contractors, the tax credits and rebates are the most immediately important to the better building industry. Of particular note, the IRA expands the 25C tax credit for energy efficient home improvements and introduces billions of dollars in new spending for rebates.
Although the 25C tax credit existed prior to the signing of the IRA, it was only a 10% credit with a $500 lifetime cap—not a very incentivizing incentive. Because of this, it didn’t make sense for contractors to put much effort into marketing the tax credit (and few did).
Starting in 2023, the 25C tax credit has been significantly increased by the Inflation Reduction Act to 30%, with an annual cap of $1,200 and no lifetime maximum (you can read about some of the exceptions and fine print in our blog linked above). With this change, there’s a lot of opportunity for contractors to increase their leads by marketing it as an incentive to homeowners.
But how do you market tax credits? Most contractors don’t have a lot of experience in this arena and are basically starting from scratch. Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been a driver for solar marketing since its inception in 2006, and Energy Circle has been marketing the ITC on behalf of our solar clients for years.
Today, we’re going to break down our most successful solar tax credit marketing strategies so you can steal a page from the solar playbook and use proven strategies to market the newly expanded IRA tax credit for your HVAC, insulation, or home performance business.
Make Tax Credits a Key Theme in Your Marketing Efforts
To market tax credits effectively, you need to establish tax credit messaging as a core theme of your company’s marketing.
When marketing the ITC for solar clients, we position the tax credit as a key benefit that’s equally as important as the long-term financial and environmental benefits of solar panels. You can do the same thing for your HVAC or home performance business. Here’s how:
Create an Incentives Landing Page
Start by creating a permanent incentives landing page and make it a part of your website’s main navigation. You can create one master incentives page that details all the available tax credits and incentives, or you can create separate landing pages for each incentive. The more accurate, detailed, and easy-to-understand information you include, the better.
Build Cluster Content Around Your Incentives Page
Once you have your landing page or pages set up, create cluster content around them. This can include blogs, infographics, and videos that detail key aspects of the tax credits and link back to your incentives landing page or pages. Cluster content helps optimize your website’s structure and internal linking, improving its overall performance and helping you rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Push Tax Credit Messaging Across All Channels
Finally, you want to make sure you are pushing tax credit messaging across all your marketing channels, including paid search, display, and social media ads. It’s also a good idea to incorporate a tax credit campaign into your email marketing strategy.
Take Advantage of Seasonal Messaging
As an HVAC or home performance contractor, you probably already use seasonality to some degree in your marketing. You know homeowners are looking for furnace tune-ups when it starts to get chilly, and you capitalize on that by highlighting your furnace maintenance services in the ads and content that you publish during the late summer and early fall.
Tax credits bring a new level of seasonality to your marketing efforts. In order to claim their credit within a given tax year, homeowners will need to make sure their projects are completed by the end of that year. So, for example, if homeowners want to claim the credit on the taxes they file in 2024, their project needs to be completed by December 31, 2023.
You can take advantage of this by publishing credit-related ads and content in the second half of the year, reminding homeowners that they should start their project now to make sure it’s completed in time for them to claim their credit.
Your blog topics toward the end of the year could include:
Don’t Miss Out on Tax Credits in 2024—Start Your Project Now!
Can You Still Get the IRA Tax Credit in 2024?
What’s the Deadline for the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit?
You can also publish blogs during tax season to answer questions homeowners may have about filing for the credit. Topics could include:
How To Claim the IRA Tax Credit on Your 2024 Taxes
What Tax Forms Do You Need for the 25C Tax Credit
Publishing strategic seasonal content allows you to create a sense of urgency and encourages homeowners to act now even though the tax credit will be available for 10 years.
Position Yourself as an Expert
There’s no doubt about it—tax credits are confusing. Homeowners are hearing the buzz about tax credits and rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act, but they don’t know what that means for them, and they’re asking Google for answers.
You can take advantage of the confusion by creating a steady stream of educational content about the IRA tax credits and incentives.
For your content to be successful, however, homeowners need to be able to understand it, which means you can’t use legal jargon. Most homeowners don’t know the official names of the tax credit and will be searching for terms like “IRA heat pump rebates” and “tax deduction IRA 2022”. Conducting keyword trend research will help you understand how homeowners are talking about tax credits so you can write content that ranks and resonates.
Be the First Mover!
Whenever a new concept—like the Inflation Reduction Act—comes into play, there’s a unique opportunity to be the first mover. No contractor has a firm foothold in the SERPs when it comes to IRA tax credit-related content just yet, which means you don’t have to push a long-time holder out of the top spot, you just have to get there first.
While you can’t outrank big government sites for terms like Inflation Reduction Act, there is plenty of opportunity to rank for more specific and long-tail keywords, especially in your location. Focus on geo-specific content that calls out specific technologies and years (i.e. “Can I Claim the IRA Tax Credit for Heat Pump Installation in Tampa?” or “What Are the Best Tax Credits for New Insulation in Portland in 2022?”) and watch your rankings and impressions abound.