|Friday, April 18, 2014|
Appliance Rebates: Save Now and Later
Household appliances are the workhorses that wash our clothes, heat our water, store our perishable food, keep our homes comfortable in any kind of weather, and much more. Performing these tasks consumes more than 70% of the energy we use in our homes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Save money, boost the economy
The DOE's appliance rebate program pays cash back for the purchase of new Energy Star appliances to replace old models. With rebates ranging from $25 to $250, you'll save money when you buy. Plus, you'll continue to save on your gas, electricity, and water bills over each appliance's lifetime.
For example, replacing a washing machine manufactured before 2000 with a new Energy Star model can save up to $135 a year, according to the DOE.
Funding for the $300 million rebate program comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories received a share, apportioned by population size. Each government entity designs and runs its own program.
Talk to a credit union loan officer about help financing new energy-efficient appliances.
Delaware was one of the first states to roll out its program, starting in December 2009. "The rebate program has been a great way to raise awareness about saving energy and money and cutting down on carbon emissions, as individuals and as a state," says Becky Fleischauer, spokesperson for the Energize Delaware initiative of the Sustainable Energy Utility.
Wisconsin was another state out of the gate early, in January 2010. "We've had high consumer interest in this from day one," says Linda Mae Schmitt, Energy Star field manager for Wisconsin's Focus on Energy. "Also, retailers are reporting good sales. The program has been highly positive."
Appliance sales were down 10% in 2008 and another 12% in 2009, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), Washington, D.C. It's still too early to gauge the rebate program's economic impact, but "we're certainly encouraged by what we're seeing so far," says Jill Notini, AHAM's vice president of communications and marketing. "The program is encouraging people to get back in the retail sector and upgrade to more efficient appliances."
Replacing a clothes washer manufactured before 2000 with a new Energy Star model can save up to $135 a year.
A few FAQs
Learn moreThe DOE's Energy Savers Web site has links to approved appliance rebate programs nationwide. Visit your state or territory's site to get details about how to qualify.
Home & Family FinanceŽ Resource Center