As you're probably aware by now, every state and U.S. territory has been given funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to allow eligible consumers to receive rebates for the purchase of new energy-efficient appliances when they replace used appliances.
So, how's the program working? The answer is: great overall. The response has been enormous (as many of you have probably witnessed) as people have purchased an unprecedented number of washers, dryers, and other home appliances.
Here's an example of the program's impact in Florida:
Sunshine State's Rebate Program Means Big Sales for Retailers
Florida's energy-efficient appliance rebate program kicked off April 16; by April 19, consumers had claimed more than 72,000 rebates that cut 20% off the purchase price.
Bob and his son Mark Hurst of The Appliance Center in Panama City posted a record-breaking weekend of sales thanks to the rebate program.
"In 2 days (Friday and Saturday) we grossed $160,000 in sales. I believe that is more than we have ever done in one month during our 62 years of existence, let alone in 2 days!," said Bob Hurst of The Appliance Center in Panama City. "I want to thank President Obama and Governor Crist for helping us see green in sales and the citizens of Florida for going green with their ENERGY STAR appliances!"
The Appliance Center is the oldest retail store in Bay County, Florida, says Hurst, who has run the family business for more than 30 years.
"Across the state, retailers were thrilled [with the program]," said Brenda Buchan, program manager for Florida's rebate program. Refrigerators topped the sales list statewide; consumers also saved on freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, room air conditioners, and gas tankless water heaters. Many retailers cut their prices or offered sales in addition to the state rebates.
Florida offered an additional $75 credit for recycling, which helped increase awareness of recyclers and landfills to residents, said Buchan. Many recyclers increased staff or offered additional hours to keep up with demand.
The program has contributed $62 million to Florida's economy and generated $4 million in tax revenues, according to the Florida governor's office.
You can view many more stories of state appliance rebate programs by clicking on the green "STORY" icons on the Energy Savers Approved Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs page.
While some state programs have closed, many more are still open. Find your state and learn more on Energy Savers. In addition, there are federal tax credits available—some through tax year 2010, others through 2016—for qualifying energy-efficient products such as HVAC, insulation, roofing, and solar energy systems. Important: Check with your tax attorney to be sure your purchase qualifies.
Andrea Spikes is a communicator at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its Web sites.