If you didn't need or want a new car and passed on the Cash for Clunkers program, you still have a chance to save with the new Cash for Appliances program. Unlike Clunkers, the new program is run at the state level with each state getting an allocation from the Federal Government to design their own customized program. While some states like New York have already started implementing their programs, others such as Florida, Texas, and California won't begin their programs until mid-April. Here's the lowdown on the new program and what it will mean for you.
First, most programs are starting in March or April. You can find out the start date of your program by visiting the Energysavers.com website which allows you to click on the state and get details of the program. The programs are on a first come, first serve basis. In some states that have already started, demand for the program has been mixed with some states citing local economic conditions dampening interest. If you are looking to replace that old refrigerator, you should plan to purchase it early just in case demand in your state is high.
Nationally, there is $300 million in funds allocated to these programs. The money has been allocated to states on a per capita basis. Essentially, that breaks down to a dollar for every person in your state. The U.S. Virgin Islands gets $102,000 while California gets $35 million. While not a huge amount of money, in New York, they had to extend the deadline because of millions in unspent funds.
The money comes in the form of rebates. The rebates can be on a percentage basis such as Florida's 20% rebate on eligible products or a fixed rebate based on the type of appliance purchased. For instance, Georgia will give you $50 for an Energy Star washing machine and $99 for a more efficient model.
In most states, everyone is eligible. In certain states, eligibility is severely limited. In Alaska, for instance, only disabled residents are eligible. In some states, qualifying for a rebate requires online or phone registration.
In many cases, getting a rebate is dependent on showing proof that the old appliance has been recycled.
This varies widely by state but typically washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers are included in almost every state. Some states will give rebates on high efficiency boilers, water heaters, solar heaters, and air conditioners. Clothes dryers are typically not covered. Each state determines it's own covered appliances based on state priorities.
So if you are planning on buying a newer appliance in the next few years and want to cut your utility bills, the Cash for Appliances program may save you a hundred dollars or more.
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