info from http://www.energysavers.gov/financial/70020.html
Is the old fridge about to kick-it? Freezer guzzling kilowatts? Boiler making sounds it shouldn't? If you're in the market for a replacement, there are new rebates kicking in now nationwide as part of the federal government's "Cash for Appliances" program.
Last year, some $300 million in stimulus funding was allocated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to be passed out by individual states as means to encourage consumers to trade in their old appliances and upgrade to new energy efficiency Energy Star rated ones. There's a lot of debate about the merits and costs of stimulus programs of this sort and their impact; regardless, however, the money is there, or soon will be, for the taking in your state.
New York launches its "Great Appliance Swap Out" this President's Day weekend; so does Georgia. A few places such as Oregon and Michigan are already up and running with most other states coming onboard in March and April.
The rebates–which range from about $50 to $250 per appliance with some limits–won't last forever, or probably even very long in some cases, and are typically given out on a first come, first serve basis. They also aren't retroactive, so if you just forked over cash for a new furnace and your state's program hadn't launched yet, prepare to be bummed.
Generally, anyone can participate though a handful of states are limiting funds to low-income homeowners. Qualifying appliances include: boilers, central air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, furnaces (oil and gas), heat pumps (air source and geothermal), refrigerators, room air conditioners and water heaters.
Note, however, that states don't necessarily give rebates for every appliance on that list, so read your state's requirements before you shop and get ticked off that your purchase doesn't qualify. (I wouldn't always trust the retailer to know, or even tell the truth for that matter.) For instance, North Carolina is spreading the love pretty liberally–fridges, freezers, dishwashers, gas furnaces, solar water heaters and more–while Indiana is a little more picky, limiting to only higher ticket items such as boilers, air conditioners and furnaces.
To apply, you'll generally need to print forms off the Web and mail them in with qualifying proof of purchase. Keep the original receipt for the new appliance, this may be requested. Typically, you've got to live in the state where you buy the appliance and in some cases online purchases aren't eligible. Some states will have a phone number where you can reserve a rebate, if you know what you're buying. It'll probably take four to six weeks to get the money, usually in the form of a check or prepaid card such as a Visa.
As for the old appliance, if you recycle it properly (i.e., not just dumping in the landfill), you can get additional rebates in some states, such as New York. A few locales actually may mandate documented recycling to participate. Some big retailers, such as Sears and Lowe's, are plugging Haul-Away programs where they promise to take your old appliance, recycle, and give you proper documentation.
One last word: double-dipping. With many appliances you'll often see manufacturer rebates or retail promotions–these you can usually take on top of the new appliance rebate. Same with the federal energy efficiency tax credit, in effect through this year, which gives a 30% credit up to $1,500 for the purchase of certain heating, cooling and ventilation appliances, among other things. Your local utility or municipality also might have its own rebate program, which you may or may not be able to tap on top of the federal program, depending on where you live. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (dsireusa.org) for more on local perks.
Rebates for ENERGY STAR AppliancesIn the coming months you may be eligible to receive rebates from your state or territory for the purchase of new ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances.
These rebates are being funded with $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under this program, eligible consumers can receive rebates to purchase new energy-efficient appliances when they replace used appliances.
State InformationEach state and U.S. territory was allowed to design its own rebate program, and all 56 plans have now been approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Learn about those programs and when they are projected to start. (Note: This Web site is the only official DOE-sponsored Web site; be cautious of "fake" Web sites.)
Types of AppliancesMore than 70% of the energy used in our homes is for appliances, refrigeration, space heating, cooling, and water heating. Replacing old appliances and equipment with those that are ENERGY STAR® labeled can help American families save significantly on their utility bills. Each state and territory may select its own set of ENERGY STAR qualified products to rebate. DOE has recommended that states select from among the following appliances:
- Central air conditioners
- Clothes washers
- Furnaces (oil and gas)
- Heat pumps (air source and geothermal)
- Room air conditioners
- Water heaters
Frequently Asked Questions
Who will issue the rebates?Each state is designing and running its own unique Appliance Rebate Program. DOE is providing funding to all states, five territories, and the District of Columbia to develop and implement these programs.
How much will each state receive to fund its program?Each state will receive an amount proportionate to its population compared to the total U.S. population, with a floor of no less than $100,000. See the complete list of allocations by state (PDF 11 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
Are states offering rebates now?A state can not begin to offer rebates until its program plan has been approved by DOE. States submitted their plans to DOE on October 15, 2009, and DOE is currently in the process of reviewing these documents.
When will my state's appliance rebate program take effect?Each state will establish its own implementation date and communicate the information to its residents. DOE has posted the dates each state has proposed to launch its program, pending DOE approval.
I just bought an efficient appliance. Will the rebates be available retroactively?Only purchases of qualified products made during the specific time period established by each state will be eligible for a rebate.
How long will the rebate programs last?The rebate program will continue as long as the states and territories have money to support it. While they have until February 2012 to spend the money, it is likely that the money will go quickly. States and territories must indicate how they intend to notify consumers when the funding for rebate program is exhausted.
Who is eligible for a rebate?The program is for consumers. Each state will specify exactly who is eligible to participate in its program, and some states are likely to limit rebates to only certain types of consumers, e.g., low-income.
Do I have to turn in my old appliance to be eligible for a rebate?Only purchases that replace an existing appliance are eligible for a rebate. DOE is strongly encouraging the recycling of old appliances purchased under the program. See the ENERGY STAR Recycling page for more information on appliance recycling.
Can I get more than one rebate from my state?Each state will decide if consumers will be eligible for more than one rebate when purchasing appliances covered in the program.
What are the rebate amounts?Each state and territory will choose dollar amounts for the products selected. Amounts could range from $50 to $250, depending upon the product being purchased, the purchase price, and other potential market factors.
Can consumers combine the rebate with other incentives, such as the federal tax credit or a utility rebate?A consumer can combine a state rebate with the federal tax credit for the same product, as long as the purchase qualifies under the rules of both programs and is not specifically excluded. Consumers may also be able to combine the state rebate with a local utility rebate, but eligibility should be verified with both organizations. For more information on additional incentives and rebates, please see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
How much energy can I save when I replace a used appliance with a new ENERGY STAR-qualified model?Energy savings will depend on the specific appliance and model being replaced, but new ENERGY STAR appliances save significantly more energy than those manufactured years ago. For example, replacing a clothes washer made before 2000 with a new ENERGY STAR model can save up to $135 per year. Replacing a refrigerator made before 1993 with a new ENERGY STAR model can save up to $65 per year. Learn more about ENERGY STAR appliances.
Find out more about the energy savings potential of these products:
- Clothes washers
- Room air conditioners
- Water heaters
- Central heating and cooling equipment (HVAC)
Why are rebates different state-by-state?Every state has specific energy needs and the rebate program allows flexibility to design the right program for that particular state. For example, residents living in warm-weather states may benefit more from the use of energy-efficient air conditioners, while consumers in a cold-weather state would benefit more from efficient furnaces.
What is the ENERGY STAR program?ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy helping consumers save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. All appliances and products with the ENERGY STAR label meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the DOE.