The U.S. Department of Energy's $300 million State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, otherwise known as cash for clunkers for appliances, is up and running in several states, and set to launch in others in early 2010. We've been getting a lot of questions from readers who want to take advantage of the incentives the states will dole out, so we've compiled this FAQ to fill you in on some specifics of the program. (Note: This FAQ, originally published in October, has been updated. Check out our cash for clunkers for appliances hub, which includes a U.S. map with links to each state's clunkers Web page.)
Will the cash-for-clunkers-for-appliances rebates be offered nationwide?
As of December 24, the DOE had approved plans for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Use our interactive map to get details on the rebate program in your state.
Where can I find the latest information?
We'll be providing regular updates as news and details emerge. Go to www.energysavers.gov/rebates for additional information and links to approved state plans. Manufacturers, including Bosch, and retailers, including Sears, are also spreading the word on their Web sites, the way car dealers did last summer.
How was the $300 million be divvied up?
It was done by a formula in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that's largely based on state population. For example, California, with a population of nearly 37 million, received just over $35 million, while Alaska's 686,000 residents will get $658,477.
What appliances will be covered by the rebate program?
Each state devised its own list of products, which could include refrigerators, freezers, washers, dishwashers, central and room air conditioners, air-source and geothermal heat pumps, boilers, and oil and gas furnaces. Models will need to be Energy Star qualified, where applicable, to qualify for a rebate. Several states have even more stringent requirements. For example, California and Michigan will require washers to be rated Tier 2 and Tier 3, respectively, by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency.
How long will cash for clunkers for appliances last?
In theory, the program could extend into 2012. That's how long the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gives states and territories to spend their portion of the $300 million. But no one expects the program to last that long. Indeed, depending on how aggressive the program is promoted, some states could run through their share of the rebate funds in a matter of months or even weeks. Several states are coordinating their start dates with Presidents Day sales in February, others with Earth Day in April.
How much money will I get for a rebate?
Again, that's up to states to decide, but amounts, should be about $50 to $250, and can be combined with manufacturer or utility rebates. Some states are targeting programs to low-income or disabled consumers.
How will I receive my money?
Unlike the Car Allowance Rebate System, in which dealers handled the paperwork, with cash for clunkers for appliances, you will have to deal with the forms. A few states may offer point-of-sale rebates, but most will be mail-in, with what are likely to be mail-in forms available at participating retailers. You might also be able to download the forms from the Web site of your state energy office.
Is there a limit to how many rebates I can get?
So far, none of the approved plans mandate any limit. What's more, you can combine these rebates with federal tax credits and incentives offered by local utilities.
What will happen to all the appliances being replaced?
The DOE required states to include details on how they plan to recycle the fleet of old appliances. One scenario is that clunkers will be hauled away by participating retailers. You might qualify for an additional rebate if you properly recycle your appliance(s). Other states will require proof that the old appliance was decommissioned in order to receive the rebate.
According to NYSERDA.org, NYSERDA plans to launch the program in NY in mid-February, during President’s Week. Under the proposed plan, customers purchasing appliances would qualify for a rebate of $75 ($105 with documented recycling) for ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators, $75 ($100 with documented recycling) for clothes washers and $50 ($75 with documented recycling) for freezers. Rebates are available for dishwashers when they are purchased as part of a three-appliance package (refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer), which may qualify for a $500 rebate ($550 with documented recycling).
when does these rebates start and if you have to buy heat and air before it goes into efect can you get a rebate on it we are needing to buy heat and air now
Just received an email from program planner in Iowa. She said the state is still waiting for official approval of their application. The Iowa program was scheduled to begin in January but now looks like it will have to be pushed back until they receive confirmation. Any word from the Feds when that might come?
Our washer just died and we will be buying one in next few days. What manufacturers will be offering rebates with this program? And will our purchase now be eligible for this rebate program? Appreciate info soon...
Is Virginia the only state that has no clue how much they are offering or when the program will start???
Why not for clothes dryers? They use a ton of energy.
We are replacing five major appliances within the week. What manufactures will be offering rebates and what is the date the rebates will be available? Is the state of Indiana one of the 38 states in the rebate program?
I live in Iowa across the border from Nebraska. Will the Iowa plan allow me to purchase an item from Nebraska or does it have to be an "in-state" purchase?
If you don't mine, would you please share the email address? Like you, I live in Iowa. I just posted a question about whether I could purchase an item in Nebraska and qualify.
NJ-washers and humidifiers? I got stuck and had to replace my washer of 16+ years (it was used when I bought it) and bought a cr best buy front loader (a year ago - no hope of a rebate there...). Now I need to replace my 20+ year old fridge/freezer - I've been putting off this purchase for months waiting for this program. But now it's not even eligible?
We purchased a new clothes washer in the last quarter of 2009 and expected to earn a rebate. The Federal Government approved Wisconsin as a particating state before that in the appliance clunker program. Now Wisconsin announces their program and states you must purchase the appliance after 01/01/2010. Why the time gap?
My non-profit organization purchased a front load machine from Sears which sounds like it would be eligible for this program - we already purchased it and recycled the old machine. Do we qualify for a rebate since we are a non-profit? Or does that make us ineligible?
I live in Virginia. If I were to purchase a clothes dryer before the April 2010 rebate start date, could I still submit the bill and get a rebate? Or would I have to purchase the dryer during the rebate time in order to qualify for the rebate?
Thanks for the information.
I live in Indiana, but close to Illinois - and found out that Indiana does not offer rebates on washers / dryers.
Can I purchase a washer / dryer in Illinois and get the rebate?