Cardinal & Pine: David Meeker: Our restaurant in North Carolina wants to do more to fight climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act will help.


In a editorial at Cardinal & Pine, David Meeker of Raleigh’s Trophy Brewing explains how President Biden’s Cut Inflation Act, which Congressman Ted Budd and every other North Carolina Republican voted against, will cut energy costs restaurants in the Triangle.

Cardinal & Pine: Our North Carolina restaurant wants to do more to fight climate change. The Inflation Reduction Act will help.

As the owner of a restaurant powered by renewable energy, one of my main concerns for this midterm cycle is electing leaders who will tackle climate change.

President Biden recently signed the Cut Inflation Act — which Congressman Ted Budd and every other Republican in North Carolina voted against — that will help restaurants like mine and around the Triangle take measures to combat climate change and reduce costs along the way.

At Trophy Brewing, we have already started implementing renewable energy initiatives.

When we opened our doors in 2013, we knew we had to do some renovations to keep up with the growing market around us. We also knew we couldn’t do these renovations without going green.

Today we are proud to say that we have a green roof over our brewery.

The roof measures 1,500 square feet and was put in place to prevent rainwater from flowing into rivers and streams and flooding people downstream.

We also have solar panels on our roof, which had an upfront cost but quickly paid for themselves.

To sum it up, we spent $60,000 on our solar panels, but we got a third-party tax credit as well as a Duke Energy rebate. Quite quickly, we had already recovered around 40% of our costs.

We also don’t have any parking spaces on our land. Instead, we encourage guests to walk or cycle, which also saves us paying for parking spaces and takes up less space.

These steps we’ve taken not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also reduce our utility bills – a big win for our small business. Although we have taken these steps, we can still do more. This is where President Biden and the Democrats’ Cut Inflation Act will come in handy.

The Cutting Inflation Act is the biggest step our federal government has ever taken to fight climate change.

In North Carolina, millions of low- and middle-income households will be eligible for rebates covering 50-100% of new electrical appliances.

It will invest approximately $2.7 billion in large-scale clean energy storage in our state by 2030.

It will create 462,900 clean energy jobs in North Carolina, provide rebates of up to $7,500 for new electric vehicles and $4,000 for used electric vehicles, and help the 45,100 North Carolina farms to not only lead climate solutions, but to reward them – and so much more.

For North Carolina’s more than 964,200 small businesses, Trophy Brewing and many other restaurants included, the Cut Inflation Act will save us money. It will reduce utility bills and provide tax credits of up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements.

It will also provide tax credits covering 30% of low cost solar power installation in addition to the purchase of clean trucks and vans. It will do all this by making big corporations pay their fair share, cutting the deficit and fighting inflation – without raising taxes on families earning less than $400,000 a year.

Ted Budd and North Carolina Republicans voted against these benefits that will impact North Carolina small businesses like mine. This isn’t the first time Budd has chosen special interests over North Carolina interests, but it’s further proof that he won’t prioritize the future of North Carolina small businesses and neither will he do what is right.

Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, the Cut Inflation Act is an exciting opportunity for restaurants in the Triangle to grow sustainably in the years to come. This leadership is essential not only for the future of small businesses, but for everyone. In November, it’s up to all of us to choose leaders who will continue to build on this progress.



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