Tuesday, February 16, 2010

States Launching Federal "Cash For Appliances" Programs

The federal government has distributed $300 million in stimulus funding via the "Cash for Appliances," which was allocated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Cash for Appliances Program (CAP) encourages consumers to trade in their old appliances and upgrade to new energy efficiency Energy Star rated ones.

New York and Georgia launched their "Appliance Swap Out" programs on President's Day weekend. Oregon and Michigan are already running their CAP with most other states coming onboard in March and April. The rebates range from about $50 to $250 per appliance. Qualifying appliances include: boilers, central air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, furnaces (oil and gas), heat pumps (air source and geothermal), refrigerators, room air conditioners and water heaters (read your state's requirements before you shop).

To apply, you'll generally need to print forms off the Web and mail them in with qualifying proof of purchase. Keep the original receipt for the new appliance, this may be requested. As for the old appliance, if you recycle old appliances properly (i.e., not just dumping in the landfill), you can get additional rebates in some states.

You can take the CAP rebate and the federal energy efficiency tax credit, in effect through this year, which gives a 30% credit up to $1,500 for the purchase of certain heating, cooling and ventilation appliances, among other things. Your local utility or municipality also might have its own rebate program, which you may or may not be able to tap on top of the federal program, depending on where you live. Check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (dsireusa.org) for more on local perks. (WSJ, 2/12/10)

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