Ben Franklins for Freezers? Dollars for Dishwashers? Coin for Central Air? or Cash for Appliances? Whatever you'd like to call it, after the overwhelming success of the "Cash for Clunkers" program, the next government incentive to save consumers money will debut as early as this fall. However on this go around, you will receive rebates for the purchase of new Energy Star-qualified home appliances.
In July, the Department of Energy set aside $300 million in recovery funds for this rebate program. Energy Star-qualified appliance categories eligible for rebates include: central air-conditioners, heat pumps (air source and geothermal), boilers,furnaces (oil and gas), room air conditioners, clothes washers,dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters, according to the DOE.
Under the program, consumers will receive government funded rebates of up to $200.
Each state will be responsible for managing its own rebates, and have the leeway to dictate which types of appliances will be eligible. The DOE recommends that the rebates be spent to subsidize the purchase of heating and cooling equipment, appliances, and water heaters as these products offer the greatest energy savings potential.
Like Cash for Clunkers, this innovative use of stimulus funds not only injects money back into the consumer's hands, it is an incentive to get people to purchase with a different purpose. Buying 'green' is something we should all be doing, but now with a program that provides us with additional motivation, I think Ben Franklins for Freezers is going to be as equally popular as Cash for Clunkers. And it couldn't have come at a better time...my clothes dryer just want on the fritz!