The appliance rebate program has been wildly successful in many states. So successful, in fact, that people have plenty of questions and aren’t always finding the answers they need. Whether you’re just learning about the appliance rebate program or have some nagging questions, I hope this information is helpful to you. For the most up-to-date information on rebates in your state, click on your state on Approved Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs [1].

Below is a list of the most common questions, taken from the Energy Savers Appliance Rebates [2] page. (Note: The FAQs below are current as of this posting on April 26, 2010; if you have come across this blog post at a later date, please visit the Appliance Rebate [2] page for the latest information.)

Who will issue the rebates?

Each state is designing and running its own unique Appliance Rebate Program. DOE is providing funding to all states, five territories, and the District of Columbia to develop and implement these programs.

Where do I get rebate forms?

Each state runs its own appliance rebate program and publishes its own rebate forms. Please visit Rebates for ENERGY STAR Appliances [3] where you can find quick overview information on approved appliance rebate programs. In addition, from this page you can click on your state (or the name of your state just below the map) for more information, where you will find specific details such as eligible items, fact sheets, and your state's Web site which has rebate forms and other information.

How much will each state receive to fund its program?

Each state will receive an amount proportionate to its population compared to the total U.S. population, with a floor of no less than $100,000. See the complete list of allocations by state (PDF 11 KB [4]). Download Adobe Reader [5].

When will my state's appliance rebate program take effect?

Each state established its own implementation date and will communicate the information to its residents. DOE has posted the dates [3] each state has proposed to launch its program.

I just bought an efficient appliance. Will the rebates be available retroactively?

Only purchases of qualified products made during the specific time period established by each state will be eligible for a rebate. Retroactive rebates are not allowed.

How long will the rebate programs last?

The rebate program will continue as long as the states and territories have money to support it. While they have until February 2012 to spend the money, it is likely that the money will go quickly. States and territories must indicate how they intend to notify consumers when the funding for rebate program is exhausted.

Who is eligible for a rebate?

The program is for residential consumers. Each state will specify exactly who is eligible to participate in its program, and some states are likely to limit rebates to only certain types of consumers, e.g., low-income.

Do I have to turn in my old appliance to be eligible for a rebate?

Only purchases that replace an existing appliance are eligible for a rebate. Some states require proof of haul away or recycling to receive a rebate. DOE is strongly encouraging the recycling of old appliances purchased under the program. See the ENERGY STAR Recycling [6] page for more information on appliance recycling.

Can I get more than one rebate from my state?

Each state will decide if consumers will be eligible for more than one rebate when purchasing appliances covered in the program.

What are the rebate amounts?

Each state and territory will choose dollar amounts for the products selected. Most rebate amounts range from $50 to $500, depending upon the product being purchased, the purchase price, and other potential market factors. Some states give additional rebates for recycling.

Can consumers combine the rebate with other incentives, such as the federal tax credit or a utility rebate?

A consumer can combine a state rebate with the federal tax credit [7] for the same product, as long as the purchase qualifies under the rules of both programs and is not specifically excluded. Consumers may also be able to combine the state rebate with a local utility rebate, but eligibility should be verified with both organizations. For more information on additional incentives and rebates, please see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency [8].

How much energy can I save when I replace a used appliance with a new ENERGY STAR-qualified model?

Energy savings will depend on the specific appliance and model being replaced, but new ENERGY STAR appliances save significantly more energy than those manufactured years ago. For example, replacing a clothes washer made before 2000 with a new ENERGY STAR model can save up to $130 per year. Replacing a refrigerator made before 1993 with a new ENERGY STAR model can save up to $65 per year. Learn more about ENERGY STAR appliances [9].

Find out more about the energy savings potential of these products:

Why are rebates different state-by-state?

Every state has specific energy needs and the rebate program allows flexibility to design the right program for that particular state. For example, residents living in warm-weather states may benefit more from the use of energy-efficient air conditioners, while consumers in a cold-weather state would benefit more from efficient furnaces.

What is the ENERGY STAR program?

ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy helping consumers save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. All appliances and products with the ENERGY STAR label meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and the DOE.

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.