Will this fall's federal rebate do for home appliances and heating and cooling systems what the Car Allowance Rebate System—aka cash for clunkers—has done for cars and trucks? The appliance industry certainly hopes so: Sales of dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines—the three appliances covered by the appliance-rebate program—have been off by some 25 percent from their peak during the last housing boom.
As a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Obama administration is encouraging the purchase of energy-efficient appliances through the $300 million State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, or cash for clunkers for appliances, which will dole out amounts that could reach $200 per appliance if you buy Energy Star-qualified models. (Read our FAQ on cash for clunkers for appliances.)
(December 29, 2009 update: Check out our cash for clunkers for appliances hub, which includes a U.S. map with links to each state's clunkers Web page.)
Appliances that qualify for Energy Star use roughly 10 to 25 percent less energy than the maximum allowed for that category by the U.S. Department of Energy, which runs Energy Star with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (Watch the video here on our latest tests of water- and energy-efficient dishwashers at right.)
Unlike cash for clunkers, you won't have to turn in your old appliance to get a rebate. But states are expected to have recycling plans for the flood of old appliances the program could unleash. And while the money is coming from Washington, how much you get for which appliance will be a state-by-state decision.
State energy offices must detail the amount of the rebates for each appliance category and their plan for recycling old appliances by October 15. The money will be divided via a formula in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that is largely based on state population. For example, California, with a population of nearly 37 million, will receive just over $35 million, while Alaska's 686,000 inhabitants will get $658,477.
Combining the soon-to-be enhanced state incentives with those from federal government and local utilities can yield significant savings. We've detailed how you can combine these specific incentives on appliances, solar-, wind-, and geothermal-energy technologies, and air-conditioning systems.
You can save even more with these recently published appliance-buying tips from more than 25,000 Consumer Reports subscribers. We've also got ratings (available to subscribers) of 16 major appliance retailers and a wide range of appliances.—Bob Markovich | e-mail | Twitter | Forums | Facebook
Essential information: Our ratings of air conditioners, dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines (available to subscribers) detail the best blends of efficiency and performance in our tough tests, which are typically more stringent than the federal government's. Our ongoing tests have also shown that some Energy Star models use more energy than their EnergyGuide labels suggest. Watch this story from CNN, which features Consumer Reports Home Editor Bob Markovich talking about the appliance-rebate program. And read our FAQ on the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, aka cash for clunkers for appliances.
Sounds like a good program, the only problem I have is I just bought a new washer and dryer and this will not credit purchases made before this was approved.
When will this program be implemented?
We did buy a new washer/dryer and got $150 in total from our PUD, Water District and the Feds. I suggest checking with you appliance dealer for the forms to fill out to get the deals.
Our electric company allows us to turn in our old refrigerators and they replace them with new energy star models. I know a few people who traded theirs in and they say that they noticed a dramatic change in thier energy bill.
$200?? Really? Do they know how much a fridge or even a dryer costs? I just replaces my dishwasher and it's final cost was over $800! The dryers run at least that. I'm not turning my back on a discount but if a $20-30k car can get $4500, Why can they not offer at least a $500 incentive for appliances?
My business is down a heck of a lot more than 25% -- try 60%. We expect another 35% cut in budgets from one of our clients in 2010. Enough with helping big businesses, what about the little guys who are eliminating jobs, and using up retirement funds and credit cards to stay alive.
NOTE THEY ARE DOWN 25% FROM THE PEAK OF SALES DURING THE BUILDING BOOM, THEY JUST HAVE GOOD LOBBY REPS.
If the Energy Star Front Loaders purchased from Sears on a no interest/no payments for 12 months then the qualifying rebate should be adjusted accordingly prior to making a 1st payment?
The retailer has the ability to compensate!
This sounds all well and good for people that may need a new appliance, but I think this is a lot different than the car initiative. First of all, how is the government able to provide this money for businesses and consumers? Do they just keep printing more? And, what does this do to appliance repair businesses? This is noble of the President, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere.
When will this program be implemented???
Did anyone get smart this time and specify American made ONLY qualify?
I need a new washer, do I need to wait? When does this go into effect?
Why can't I find out when this will be implemented?
Each state will develop its own rebate program, and has the flexibility to select which appliances to include and what rebate amounts to offer.
State plans are due to DOE by October 15, 2009. Once approved, and the funds are disbursed, states can begin to roll out their programs. Rebates could be available for consumers by late 2009 or early 2010, though this will vary by state. Are these rebates retroactive?
Amounts commonly offered range from $50 to $250, depending upon the product being purchased, purchase price, and other market factors. Federal tax credits and other financial incentives may be claimed for the same products, as long as they qualify under the rules of the programs and are not specifically excluded.
Oh the government should pay for your appliances now? Right. The rebate is stimulating promotions at the stores though. Buy now, you'll probably get as good a deal.
There is a website that is being launched in the next few days that promises to aggregate not only what will be difficult to understand state level information about the clunker rebate program, but also consolidate rebates from manufacturers, retailers, municipalities and utility companies. In addition to state rebates, there seems to be a lot more money on the table. You can check it out at www.applianceclunkerrebates.com.
Why aren't including freezers?
Sure would like to find one of these websites that would explain
exactly how much the rebate is