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.