When does “Cash for Refrigerators” start in your state?
(Photo: Getty Images)
The State Energy
Efficient Appliance Rebate Program
, also known as "Cash
," has officially started, but whether you can get a rebate
yet depends on where you live.
The program is being funded with $300 million in federal
stimulus money, but each state is operating its own program and has different
start dates, budgets, and rules.
In general, buyers can earn rebates of $50 to
$250 for replacing older, inefficient appliances with Energy Star qualified
If it's as popular as "Cash for Clunkers," money could run
out fast. So if you want to participate, start now by finding out
what the deal is in your state.
Programs in Connecticut
are already in progress.
All the rest begin over the next couple of
months, according to a Department
of Energy (DOE)-sponsored website
. Look for these start dates:
Minnesota, New Hampshire,
of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky,
Carolina, North Dakota,
Check the links above for your state's info before
you head to
the store. Each state has different rules, such as which appliances are
eligible, whether you have to recycle your old appliance or prove that it was
hauled away, and how long the program lasts.
Some states require that you buy
from a participating retailer. Most programs have mail-in rebates, but some
require you to apply in person for a rebate voucher or allow you to reserve
your rebate online before the program starts.
For more info, check out EcoRebates
, which links to local
retailers and tracks the latest rebate news.
An Energy Star stamp of approval doesn't guarantee that you
are buying the most energy-efficient product in a category -- some appliances go beyond Energy Star criteria. Since Cash for
Refrigerators offers an opportunity to cut down on monthly electric bills, it's
worth it to do some research to find the most energy-efficient appliances that
work for you. In fact, some states base rebate amounts on how efficient your
particular product is, so you'll save more up front and over the life of the
Ultimately, how much you save on operating costs by
switching to a more efficient appliance depends on which new appliance you buy
and the appliance you are replacing. Some examples from the DOE: Save up to
$135 a year by replacing a clothes washer that was made before 2000 with a new
Energy Star model. Replacing a
refrigerator made before 1993 with a new Energy Star model can save you up to
$65 a year.
Consumer Reports offers tips for finding appliances
that perform well and save money on energy.
Environmental journalist Lori Bongiorno shares green-living tips and product reviews with Yahoo! Green's users. Send Lori a question or suggestion for potential use in a future column. Her book,
Green Greener Greenest: A Practical Guide to Making Eco-smart Choices a Part of Your Life is available on Yahoo! Shopping and Amazon.com.
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