I've been hearing whispers about this all year and I just found a real confirmation from my pals at The Consumerist.
Beginning this fall, as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Obama administration is encouraging the purchase of energy-efficient appliances through a $300 million appliance-rebate program that will soon dole out amounts that could reach $200 per appliance if you buy Energy Star-qualified models. Appliances that qualify for Energy Star use roughly 10 to 25 percent less energy than the maximum allowed for that category by the U.S. Department of Energy, which runs Energy Star with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The program is similar in concept the the soon to be completed Cash for Clunkers program. However, it will be implemented by each state independently. States will announce their plans for disbursing the rebate funds and recycling the replaced appliances by 15 October, then the program will kick in shortly thereafter. Once again, even though the money will be coming from the Federal Government, the size of the rebate you qualify for will vary from state to state.
The program will cover refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines. This program couldn't come at a better time, sales of those covered appliances are down 25% this year. So, if you've been putting off replacing a major appliance, you will have an added incentive to do so come October. The entire renovation industry will thank you.