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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm faced criticism on social media Sunday after she said Americans being crushed by the weight of inflation can lower their energy costs by installing solar panels at a 30% discount under the Inflation Reduction Act.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Granholm said the Democrats’ $437 billion climate and health care legislation will provide thousands of dollars in tax rebates for lower- and middle-class Americans to weatherize their homes.
“If you are low income, you can get your home entirely weatherized through the expansion from the bipartisan infrastructure laws, a significant expansion — you don’t have to pay for anything,” Granholm said.
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“If you want heat pumps, insulation, new windows, that is covered,” she said. “If you are moderate income, today you can get 30% off the price of solar panels. Those solar panels can be financed, so you don’t have to have the big outlay at the front … it’s a significant incentive.”
“If you don’t qualify for the weatherization program, you will be able to, starting next year, get rebates on the appliances and equipment that will help you reduce your monthly energy bill by up to 30%,” she added. “That is all about reducing costs for people.”
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Ohio’s Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance tied his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan, to the Granholm clip on Twitter by tweeting, “If you’re poor, Tim Ryan will give you 30 percent off the price of solar panels.”
“They won’t keep you warm this winter but they are made in China, so there’s that,” he added.
Republicans slammed Granholm’s comments as out of touch.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes thousands of dollars in tax breaks and rebates for homeowners to upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient. Households with income below 80% of the area median can claim a rebate for the full cost of their appliance upgrades, up to a $14,000 cap, and households that fall between 80% and 150% of the area median income are eligible for rebates of 50% of their cost, up to $14,000.
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The bill also provides a 30% tax credit for homeowners to install solar panels and other renewable energy measures.
This isn’t the first time that Granholm has faced backlash for appearing to be out of touch with lower- and middle-class Americans. Back in November 2021 when gas prices were rising, Granholm burst out laughing after being asked during an interview about her plan to increase oil production in the United States, saying, “That is hilarious.”