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“Cash for Appliances” Part of an Ongoing Effort to Jump Start the Economy

After the success of the “Cash for Clunkers” and “Cash for Caulkers” programs, the Obama administration has rolled out “Cash for Appliances”, with the goal of replacing aging washers and refrigerators with new ones that consume less energy.  Funded by the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus bill, “Cash for Appliances” is a $300 million program where consumers receive rebates for purchasing energy-efficient appliances.  Eligibility requires that the appliance carry the Energy Star logo, which affirms that it meets efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.  The program’s goal is to conserve energy, boost retail sales and help speed the economic recovery.Stimulus bill’s “Cash for Appliances” seeks to replace old washers and fridges with energy-efficient models.

Rebates are allocated by the states.  New York, for example, is offering rebates that range from $75 to $105 on refrigerators, freezers and washing machines.  If all three appliances are purchased together, the rebate can be as much as $555.  “This program will provide a tremendous incentive for consumers all across New York to reduce their energy consumption while providing an important stimulus to our economy,” according to a statement by New York Governor David Paterson.

Retailers are pleased with the program, but think it will not be easy to predict how the program will affect sales.  Home Depot spokeswoman Jean Neimi notes that “It’s tough to say, from a sales perspective, because each state has such a different program.  But we’re excited the program is in place.  Any opportunity to educate our customers on the benefits of energy efficiency is welcome.”

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