Details about the economic stimulus appliance rebate still up in the air

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is getting ready to dole out $300 million in economic stimulus money to the states as parts of a plan to get consumers to buy new, energy- efficient, Energy Star appliances.

The program, scheduled to launch sometime in late November, will be administered by each state and the rules governing what appliances qualify, what the rebate amounts will be, and who will keep track of the program must be finalized by the states by October 15.

Right now the program is vague as no national standard exists and each state will run its own cash for appliances program. In fact, most states are seeking input from their constituents. To give your input, contact your state representative or visit your state’s website.

However, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal, “Rebates will be available only for products with the government’s Energy Star label, a symbol that the appliance meets energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the DOE.”

The DOE is making recommendations to the states on what appliances should qualify and recommends in room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, and refrigerators because these appliances offer the greatest energy-saving potential.

Unlike the Cash for Clunkers program, consumers will not have to turn in their old appliances in order to receive the rebate. In fact, thanks to the many programs offered by utility and state agencies across the country, consumers can get even more money by recycling their old appliances.

If you are a California resident, visit the Flex Your Power Website and enter your zip code to find appliance rebates in your area. The Flex Your Power Website is run by a partnership between utilities, residents, businesses, and other nonprofit agencies, all working to save energy.

If you are a New Jersey resident, get a cash rebate of $30 for your working Refrigerators and Freezers in addition to free pick up and recycling. To schedule the pickup of a refrigerator or freezer for recycling, New Jersey residents can call (877) 270-3520 or visit

Check with your town or city’s recycling program or sanitation service to see if you can get any cash back for your old, working appliance. According to an article from, more than 60 utilities across the nation offer some sort of refrigerator/freezer recycling program.

• To find an appliance or rebate program where you live, visit the ENERGY STAR website at
• To find additional state or local utility tax incentives or rebates for buying energy-efficient appliances, check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Read about other types of federal tax credit available for energy-efficient home improvements.

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