News

Did Biden Advise People Struggling To Afford Heating Bills To Buy Solar Panels?

U.S. President Joe Biden touted the Inflation Reduction Act during a meeting with business and labor leaders.

Published Nov 18, 2022

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event with business and labor leaders at the White House complex Nov. 18, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the event, Biden discussed efforts his administration has made to strengthen the U.S. economy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Image Via Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Nov. 18, 2022, Twitter user @greg_price11 tweeted, "Biden tells people concerned about heating their homes this winter that they can get a tax credit to install solar panels on their roofs." The tweet included a 50-second video of remarks that had been made on the same day by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Clay Travis of "The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show" then shared the same video from Price's tweet. Travis' caption read, "Joe Biden says if people are concerned about their heating bills this winter they should buy solar panels for their house. Related: Biden also said homeless people should just buy houses and stop living outside." A Snopes reader asked us to verify the accuracy of this tweet.

While the second sentence of Travis' tweet was a joke, his overall implication was the same as price's -- that Biden had advised financially struggling Americans worried about being able to pay their heating bills "this winter" to go out and buy expensive solar panels. Other Twitter pundits posted virtually identical comments.

However, this was a misleading take on Biden's message.

Biden made the statements seen in the video during a meeting with business and labor leaders, according to The Associated Press. It was "his first public event since returning from an around-the-world trip to Egypt, Cambodia, and Indonesia," AP reported.

The main topic of Biden's speech (per the official White House transcript) was the Inflation Reduction Act, key provisions of which go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. "In the six short weeks — in six short weeks, Americans are going to start to feel the effects of the Inflation Reduction Act," Biden said.

After mentioning a reduction in the cost of insulin and other details about prescription drug and health care costs, Biden spoke about how the legislation will help Americans make their homes more energy efficient, which in turn will help them save money on their energy bills going forward.

We're also helping folks save money on their energy bills. Starting January 1, you can get up to $3,200 tax credit to make your home more energy efficient.

You can get up to a $600 tax credit for new windows, $500 for new doors, $2,000 to install a heat pump, $600 to replace electrical panels.

These are what — here's what this means: If you're living in a home with drafty windows and doors, starting January 1, you'll be able to save up to $1,100 on the cost of replacing them. And that's just on the upgrade.

You're also going to save a lot of money going forward because your utility bills will be lower. And that's good for your wallet, but it's also good for the environment because you're using less energy.

And that's not all. If you want to install solar panels on your roof, you can get a tax credit for 30 percent of the cost. It'll bring down the cost of installation by about $7,500.

And when you get to keep savings [sic] money on your electric bills for the remainder of the year, it's about $300 a year on average.

Look, if you switch to an electric pump to heat your home, you can get a tax credit covering up to $2,000 of the cost. But that heat pump — that heat pump is going to save you hundreds of dollars a year on your energy bills, depending on where you live and what kind of heating system you rely on today.

Look, we're talking about real money here, to save, people. And it's just going to start kicking in now.

It's not an accurate interpretation of Biden's words to infer that he was telling people to buy solar panels to solve their heating cost problems "this winter." His claims about the energy efficiency benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act in this speech were couched in forward-looking, long-range terms. One can reasonably argue that even with tax breaks, solar panels are beyond the means of many Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet, but he did not, contrary to what some of his critics claimed, propose it as an immediate solution to high home heating costs.

If readers are interested in watching more of Biden's remarks during this meeting, NowThis News uploaded a longer video to YouTube. The part about energy efficiency begins at the 4:27 mark.

Sources:

Biden Meets With Business and Labor Leaders LIVE. NowThis News, 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyehUAvn-HQ.

Iacurci, Greg. "You May Qualify for over $10,000 in Climate Incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act. Here's When You Can Claim Them." CNBC, 3 Sept. 2022, https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/03/inflation-reduction-act-when-to-claim-climate-tax-breaks-rebates.html.

Megerian, Chris. "Biden Says Inflation Help Is Coming but 'Will Take Time.'" The Associated Press, 18 Nov. 2022, https://apnews.com/article/biden-business-brian-deese-council-of-economic-advisers-government-and-politics-851368cc935670184f687f6de1e8a95d.

Price, Greg. Twitter, 18 Nov. 2022, https://twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1593679816212983808.

"Remarks by President Biden in a Meeting with Business and Labors Leaders on the Economy." The White House, 18 Nov. 2022, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2022/11/18/remarks-by-president-biden-in-a-meeting-with-business-and-labors-leaders-on-the-economy/.

"Saving Money with the Inflation Reduction Act." Medicare.gov, https://www.medicare.gov/about-us/inflation-reduction-act.

Travis, Clay. Twitter, 18 Nov. 2022, https://twitter.com/claytravis/status/1593696538630537217.

Jordan Liles is a Snopes reporter with expertise in investigating misinformation, inauthentic social media activity, and scams.

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