Cash for Appliances: Get a Cash Rebate for Buying New Appliances
Last year the Cash for Clunkers program gave out billions of dollars in rebates for purchasing new cars. This spring a smaller rebate program called Cash for Appliances is rolling out as part of the stimulus package. Consumers can get cash rebates for purchasing energy efficient household appliances to replace old appliances.
This program actually differs from state to state so you must check the Department of Energy's website to see what your state is offering. Right now several states already ran out of funding because it is turning out to be quite popular. For example, the information for Iowa says that the program started on March 1, 2010 in Iowa and ended later that day. However, there is still time for residents of many other states where the program has not started yet. Nevertheless, it is best to check when the program is starting in your state and apply as soon as possible.
Unlike Cash for Clunkers, you do not have to turn in your old appliance to the store where you purchase something new, but some states do require that you show proof that you recycled the old appliance. Some other states simply encourage recycling or give a larger rebate if you show proof of recycling. Everyone participating in the program is supposed to be replacing an old inefficient appliance, so those who are buying a new appliance for a new home would not qualify for this program.
The new appliance must be Energy Star qualified and some states have more specific energy efficiency guidelines. For example, The Arizona Energy Office's rebate page shows that some models of appliances that are even more efficient than the Energy Star models can get a larger rebate. So once again you should read the details of your state's rules and go to the store with the criteria in mind. In most states this program is not retroactive, and that means you have to make your purchase once the program starts.
The amount of rebates differ from state to state. From what I have read so far most states are giving a fairly generous rebate even if the dollar amount seems small. This is because the rebates cover a good portion of the consumer's cost for the the appliance purchase. For example, if you buy a $400 washer and get a $200 rebate, then you are getting that washer for 50% off and that is a great deal.
The bottom line is that if you have an old appliance in your home that needs replacing then it is definitely worthwhile to look up the rules for this program and participate. You will be able to save a bit on the initial purchase of the new appliance and also save energy in the years you use it. Personally I think this rebate program will turn out to be much more beneficial to the environment than the Cash for Clunkers program at a smaller cost. This program is also much more accessible since appliances are a lot cheaper than cars.
What do you think? Will you be replacing your old appliances?