Central Florida Congressman Darren Soto, Orlando Representative Maxwell Alejandro Frost and the Florida Democratic Delegation want the Department of Energy to administer energy rebates that were rejected by the state. The Florida Democrats sent a letter to Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm urging the Department to establish a direct federally managed program or locally managed programs to allow Floridians access to the nearly $346 million in federal energy rebates made available through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The state of Florida has refused to participate in any of these federally funded programs, which Democrats said leaves lower-income families without the opportunity to upgrade their homes with energy-efficient appliances and transition to clean energy.
“The Department has communicated that only state and territory energy offices are presently eligible to apply for much of these program funds. Recently, the State of Florida failed to fund energy programs that would have overseen federal rebates made available through the IRA and IIJA. Following this funding decision, the state inexplicably withdrew its application to federal energy rebate programs, leaving Floridians without access to rebates under the Department of Energy’s existing program application guidelines,” wrote the Members of Congress. “Regrettably, these restrictions deny millions of Floridians access to approximately $346 million in energy-efficiency improvement rebates and energy-efficient home appliance purchases for consumers over ten years.”
“These rebates stand to assist families in need who are looking to upgrade their homes with more energy-efficient appliances, accelerating the nation’s transition towards clean energy. To safeguard Floridians’ access to this vital assistance, we hope that the Department will consider administering these rebates either through a direct federally managed program or through locally managed programs, supplementing state and territory-administered initiatives. We believe it would benefit our districts if the Department were to take swift action on this matter, as the aforementioned energy rebate programs are only available for the next ten years. By broadening pathways for application to rebate programs, it’s our opinion that the Department would be aiding thousands of families and actively addressing the nation’s energy crisis.”
The Florida Democrats blame Republican Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis and the Republican majority in the legislature for blocking Floridians from benefits from the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In addition to Congressman Soto and Rep. Frost, the letter was signed by all members of the Florida Democratic Delegation: Reps. Kathy Castor, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Lois Frankel, Jared Moskowitz, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Frederica Wilson.
Here is the full text of the letter: