If you are considering replacing that old refrigerator or hot water heater, now is the best time to explore the Energy Star program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has funded a State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program for refrigerators, dishwashers, furnaces, air conditioners and more. This will be very similar to the “Cash for Clunkers Program”, with the ultimate goals of stimulating the economy and improving the environment.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently approved Georgia’s plan and awarded the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) $9.3 million to fund the program. According to GEFA, the rebate program will begin February 12, 2010 and should allow Georgia consumers an opportunity to receive anywhere between $25 and $199 back on the purchase of any eligible Energy Star-rated appliance. The maximum amount any household can receive in rebates is $1,200 however; Federal tax credits and other financial incentives may also apply on certain products, as long as they qualify under the rules of the program and are not specifically excluded.
In order to take full advantage of this rebate program do your home work now. You can read up further on Georgia’s proposed rebate program at http://stimulusaccountability.ga.gov Also check out the rebate rules to determine how the rebates will be received; will they be mail in type, issued upon the appliance purchase, or mailed to the consumer directly?
First determine what appliances you are considering replacing, and then research the makes, models, colors, and features of your options. Verify that your selection preferences qualify for the Energy Star rating, as not all new appliances receive the Energy Star approvals. Have a pretty clear understanding of what you want to purchase before the effective date of the program.
As with the “Cash for Clunkers” program the offer is only good until the funds run out so timing may be a critical element in making your purchase, if you put it off for a few weeks, it may be too late.
Properly dispose of your old appliances. Under the cash for appliance program, consumers will “not” have to turn in their old appliances to get the Energy Star rebate. Check with the State Energy Department to see if they have specific guidelines on how to properly dispose of old appliances. Depending on where you purchase your appliance many large retail stores will offer to haul away your old appliance, ask if they charge a fee for this.
In addition, to saving some out of pocket money on your initial purchase, you will receive the added benefit of owning an energy efficient unit for many years that will continue to save you money over the long term operation of the appliance. In the case of washing machines, this could include both water and electricity savings. If you will be in the market for a new appliance within the next 12 months you may consider moving up your purchase plans to take full advantage of this program. Good luck and happy shopping.
Saving tomorrow begins today!