07 December 2009

Cash for clunky appliances

When the American Recovery and Reinvestment act went into effect last winter, $300 million dollars was set aside for use as a rebate program toward the purchase of more energy-efficient appliances. That $300 million was divided to the states and territories based on population and the states were responsible to develop programs to disperse the rebate funds and to recycle the old appliances.

Individual states and territories had until October to submit their plans to the Department of Energy, and according to the DOE, everybody made the deadline. So far, 36 out of 56 eligible programs have been approved by the DOE and the rebate programs will begin to kick in soon.

That's a screen capture I just made with Windows 7's Snipping Tool. It's pretty handy and if I don't stop myself here, I am likely to say something positive about Microsoft. Lord knows we can't have that!

That Chart is available for download as a .pdf too. The DOE is updating that list as programs get approved, so if you don't see your state or territory keep checking back. You can also find that chart as well as more information on the rest of the available incentives for replacing your old appliances.

Here's the list of the appliances covered by this program, again from the DOE's website:

More than 70% of the energy used in our homes is for appliances, refrigeration, space heating, cooling, and water heating. Replacing old appliances and equipment with those that are ENERGY STAR® labeled can help American families save significantly on their utility bills. Each state and territory may select its own set of ENERGY STAR qualified products to rebate. DOE has recommended that states select from among the following appliances:

  • Boilers
  • Central air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Freezers
  • Furnaces (oil and gas)
  • Heat pumps (air source and geothermal)
  • Refrigerators
  • Room air conditioners
  • Water heaters

More information about the rebates offered in each state will be available on this site once programs have been approved by DOE.

So that's what I know so far about the appliance rebate program. If you have a refrigerator or washing machine that's on its last legs, hold on for a couple of months so you can take advantage of this program.

To those of you outside of the US, what incentives are available for you to purchase more efficient household appliances? Most of my international readers are from Canada and I know you have a program there. I know that a fair number of you are reading this from Australia, the UK, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Russia too. Any of you care to share?


  1. Minnesota's program is (still...) awaiting approval. But www.dsireusa.org is a great site for anyone in the U.S. to find existing rebates from utility co's, etc. -- in case they can't/choose not to wait.

    And I can't emphasize enough that consumers educate themselves before "waiting." Rebates will be limited and won't cover things like stoves, dryers or microwaves in ANY state.

  2. Thanks for the clarification Julie. It's an odd program. I sat in on the DOE's press briefing about it a few weeks ago and came away from it wondering why they were bothering, frankly.

    The energy and long-term cost savings are a better incentive, but the short term rebates are a bonus.

  3. Yes, we have a similar program here in Canada. It's called the Home Renovation Tax Credit. It's in effect till February 2010.

    Home Renovation Tax Credit

    This is apparently why nobody in the reno business calls or e-mails you back with answers to your questions -- they're too busy because of the tax credit to be bothered *Rolling eyes*

    I guess our kitchen reno qualifies for the credit. We should get our butts in gear and get some money back!!

    Wow Paul, thanks for the fantastic comments about my office!! You're making me blush!!


  4. Kelly,

    Thanks for the heads up about Canada's Renovation Tax Credit. You are most welcome for those comments about your office. You deserve high praise indeed.

    Check out Elizabeth's walking tour of her neighborhood in Buenos Aires --I'm ready to move!


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