THE ISSUE 9/30: Energy rebate program suspended.

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OUR OPINION: Good program falls victim to politics.

In bickering, Tallahassee fails Florida


In an effort to increase the energy efficiency of homes, the state of Florida showed how inefficient it can be. On Aug. 30, the Florida Energy and Climate Commission (FECC) began a program to provide $1,500 Energy Star rebates for Florida homeowners who bought qualified air conditioning systems and certified minimal duct leakage in their homes. On Sept. 14, the Legislative Budget Commission (LBC) stopped the program, stating it needed a full vote from the Legislature.

Immediately, a battle between the governor’s office and the Florida Legislature blew like hot air from a leaking air conditioner over how to disperse federal funds. At issue is a $17.5 million grant the state received from the U.S. Department of Energy in August, part of an overall request the Legislature approved in its spring session.

For two weeks, Florida homeowners bought qualified A/C systems, sealed duct leaks and applied for the $1,500 rebate only to find the program had been suspended.

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