Air Conditioning contractors in Port St Lucie, and in the 35 counties served by FPL have been hit hard by changes they did not see coming, and by the significant financial adjustments they have to make.
A contractor in Port St Lucie (and elsewhere) who installs an AC unit rated at 57,000 BTUh, with a SEER between 16.0 and 16.9 is eligible for a rebate of $344, if that installation is completed on or before November 9, 2015. That same contractor who installs that same unit on November 10, 2015 is eligible to receive the new, flat rate rebate of $150. The difference is $194. A unit with 57,000 to 65,000 BTUh, and SEER of 17.0 to 17.9, installed on or before November 9, 2015 carries the rebate rate of $439. One day later, the same AC unit carries the flat rebate of $150, which is a difference of $289.
Furthermore, eligibility for rebates is restricted to installations of new indoor or outdoor, straight cool/air cooled, high-efficiency, AC systems with a SEER rating of 16 or 17, only in single-family, detached homes. According to FPL, eligibility for the new rebate is also based on the homeowner’s purchase of the new unit through a Participating Independent Contractor (PIC).
The new eligibility requirements put limits on homeowners who want to install new AC’s, in part because of the lower and upper limit SEER numbers. The more efficient a system, the higher the cost, but if a homeowner opts for a SEER rating above 17, or below 14, the AC contractor providing AC units either has to restrict inventory or realize the installation of such a unit excludes any rebate at all. The homeowner with the unit below 14 SEER may have to pay higher electric bills; the homeowner with the unit above 17 seer my realize energy savings, but his or her contractor will lose money.
According to FPL, the reduction of the AC rebates occurred after the company updated its program standards to reflect changed manufacturing standards at the Federal level. Those standards excluded 13 and 14 SEER as the minimum efficiency ratings. FPL will not pay rebates for units with SEER ratings of 14 SEER, nor for units above 17 SEER. What would the consequence be if homeowners went outside the FPL territory to find AC contractors where rebates may not apply? Those contractors could pose serious challenges to contractors bound by FPL rebates.