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Energy Efficient Appliance Upgrade, Anyone?

This article was written by in Consumer. 4 comments.


Much like the wildly popular and probably successful Cash for Clunkers program earlier this year, a portion of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being allotted to a program for upgrading older, energy wasting appliances.

None of the important details have been released yet, such as “what Energy Star rating will my new refrigerator need to have?” But we can tell you this much right now:

  • Rebates won’t be available until at least next March (remember, the stimulus plan was always intended to be spread out over two years)
  • This isn’t new deficit spending, it’s just a part of the earlier approved stimulus package
  • You can safely ignore this unless you’ve already been wanting to upgrade one of your appliances

Consumerism Commentary will likely never recommend spending money just to get a rebate, or coupon, or because the president says it’d be a good idea. Do some calculations and decide whether a more energy efficient appliance would be a good addition to your household.

There’s another interesting wrinkle I don’t remember from “Cash for Clunkers,” too:

The program will be run by state governments, which must identify and enact their rebate plans with federal government funding and approval.

This could mean that some states will have different energy consumption requirements, and it could mean that rebates may be processed faster, which was one of the more sympathetic complaints about how Cash for Clunkers was mishandled. On the other hand, they could be processed just as slowly, placing the blame squarely on the state government’s shoulders. I’m just speculating, though. We’ll naturally keep an eye on it and provide you with more details when they’re available.

However, if you’re looking to make any and all energy efficiency improvements, there are federal and state-level credits running now and through 2010.

‘Cash for appliance’ plan being finalized, UPI, 27 Nov. 2009

Updated December 26, 2010 and originally published December 1, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Holly

I also think that because it is a state-run program, the states will ultimately decide which type of appliances to include. For instance, our 9 y.o. dishwasher died and our handyman told us we would be better off buying a newer model rather than replace the $100 part. My mother-in-law informed me that I might qualify for a rebate since it was energy-star compliant (she had purchased a new dehumidifier which qualifies). Unfortunately, Delaware does not currently offer a rebate for dishwashers. I’m hoping that since this initiative started in ’09, that I can still apply for the rebate later if they decide to include dishwashers.

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avatar chris

Yet another folly. When are people going to rise up and say, “ENOUGH! Stop with all the spending and quit trying to make us spend?!?!?!?”

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