Energy & Environment

Democrats warn of lost rebates in call for faster rollout of climate-friendly home upgrade funding

More than 60 Democrats are calling on the Biden administration to move swiftly in its rollout of consumer rebates for energy-efficient home upgrades, warning that the current pace could lead to the “potential loss of two years of rebates.”

In a new letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, dozens of Democrats said that they were “informed that states may be unable to offer rebates until the Fall of 2024 or later” because of delays in finalizing the program guidance.

“DOE should immediately disburse early administrative funds so that program administrators can hire staff, develop plans, and stand up their rebate program,” the Democrats wrote in the letter, which was spearheaded by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.).

The Democrats’ climate, tax and health care bill included nearly $9 billion to help consumers offset the costs of things like heat pumps, induction stoves and efficient washing machines and dryers.

The letter called for such discounts to be made retroactive since the date that the climate law, known as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed last year.

It said that the only way to “mitigate the potential loss of two years of rebates is to allow program administrators to make rebates available retroactive to the date of IRA enactment.”

A DOE spokesperson told The Hill that the department is “laser focused on cutting costs for working families and businesses through the historic consumer rebates program made available by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.”

“DOE’s guidance is developed in accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act and in consideration of the invaluable feedback received from stakeholders – including state energy offices that will ultimately implement the program. We look forward to continuing the work of helping American families keep more money in their pockets with an energy efficient and electrified home,” the spokesperson said.

Updated at 8:45 p.m.

Tags Jared Huffman Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden