Florida Suspends HVAC Rebate Program

Tue, 2010-09-21 17:14

The Florida Energy and Climate Commission regrettably suspended its new HVAC rebate program last week due to an unresolved dispute over funding. The funding issue is centered on whether the state can spend federal funding for the rebate program prior to state budget approval. Florida's budget was finalized in May but did not include the federal appliance rebate money which had not arrived until August.

There is some debate on whether or not the suspension of the HVAC rebate program is politically motivated due to the possibility that Florida Governor Charlie Crist will have to battle political rivals in the state legislature to get the funding released.

The program which began in August awarded homeowners up to $1,500 for installing qualified and properly sized HVAC retrofits and upgrades.

The Energy and Climate commission has received hundreds of claims for rebate money since late August. The suspension of this program has left countless individuals waiting on these funds while the Governor and members of the legislature debate over how to get the money out.

Governor Crist has asked the Legislative Budget Commission, made up of members of the state House and Senate, to release the funding and the Governor's spokesperson says it only needs be approval by the Legislative Budget Commission. However the House Majority Leader’s office says the full legislature must approve the spending of the money. If that’s the case, the funds won’t be released until November, which is the next time the legislature is scheduled to meet.