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Cash for Appliances

Cash for Appliances Program

Back in August, Cash for Clunkers [1] was the big news in government relief for taxpayers. The program encouraged consumers to buy nearly 7,000 more fuel efficient vehicles in less than 30 days. A similar program from the Department of Energy [2] through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is now in the works. The State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, or “Cash for Appliances,” aims to encourage Americans to upgrade to more energy efficient appliances.

Cash for Appliances Features

  • State-Run: Unlike Cash for Clunkers [1], where the Federal Government ran the program, each state is responsible for its own Cash for Appliances program. That means program rules, dates, and savings vary by state [3].
  • Old Appliances: Your old appliances won’t be exchanged for the rebate on your new appliances. The good news is that those who are buying, for example, a new washing machine and have never had one before, will still be eligible for the rebate. The bad news is that you’re responsible for getting rid of your own old appliances. Be sure to recycle though because some states, like New York [4], will offer additional incentives for doing so!
  • Energy Star: The new appliances must be ENERGY STAR® qualified in order to be eligible for any rebate. Categories eligible for rebates include: central air conditioners, heat pumps (air source and geothermal), boilers, furnaces (oil and gas), room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters.

Overall Thoughts

As with Cash for Clunkers [1], this program shouldn’t make you run out and buy a new appliance you don’t need or can’t afford. The rebates can be as little as $50 so that definitely wouldn’t be a wise decision. However, if you’re in the market for a new appliance anyway and your state is offering one of the better incentive programs, it probably makes sense to take advantage of this program while it lasts…remember how quickly Cash for Clunkers ran out of funds!