There’s a major problem with the rebates to swap out gas-powered appliances Dems are touting

August 27, 2023

President Biden and every Democrat on the campaign trail will spend the next year bragging about the Inflation Reduction Act, which they universally tout as the “biggest climate action investment in history.”

You will hear Democrats boast that the IRA, which was signed a year ago, includes $8.8 billion in tax credits and rebates to encourage people to buy energy-saving devices such as heat pumps. 

What they won’t tell you on the campaign trail is what’s in the fine and often confusing print: Californians won’t be able to get a rebate until later next year. And if your fossil fuel-burning furnace breaks down before then, you won’t be able to collect that rebate retroactively. At least for now. 


Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, one of the House’s leading environmentalists, told me he’s been “lighting my hair on fire in every way possible” trying to persuade the Department of Energy to allow people to get rebates retroactively. 

“The DOE has thoroughly wrapped itself around the axle on this and we are trying to help them unwrap themselves,” Huffman said. “You ought to be able to buy one now and know that you’re going to get this rebate down the road. But they have so thoroughly confused it with their policy guidance that we’re in danger of losing as much as two years of heat pump distribution.”

Huffman pointed out that the law states that the funding should have been available as soon as it passed.

“You either have urgency about this climate crisis and the need to decarbonize, or you don’t,” he said. “And when it takes you two years to roll out a pretty straightforward rebate, that’s a problem.”


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By:  Joe Garofoli
Source: San Francisco Chronicle