Last summer, the Federal Government passed the Car Allowance Rebate System ("CARS") act which gave car buyers a generous discount towards the purchase of a new vehicle when they traded in a less-efficient vehicle. The "Cash for Clunkers" program was such a wild success that its budget was depleted long before the program was scheduled to end, and as a result Congress had to approve additional funding. This year a similar rebate program has been announced, but this time it is for home appliances instead of cars!
Yes, you read that correctly. The Arizona Appliance Rebate Program is scheduled to begin in late March 2010. This program will give individual consumers in Arizona an incentive to replace their older home appliances with more efficient Energy Star appliances. This program is backed by a $6.2 million dollar budget, which was awarded to the Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office by the US Department of Energy.
With the Arizona Appliance Rebate Program, consumers will be eligible to receive a rebate check when they purchase a new Energy Star approved clothes washer, dishwasher, or water heater. The program does not cover other appliances such as ovens, clothes dryers, and refrigerators. Electric storage tank and tankless water heaters are also excluded from the rebate program due to their limited energy saving potential.
According to the Arizona Department of Commerce website, the program only covers clothes washers, dishwashers, and water heaters because they are the three biggest users of water in a typical single-family home. Water is arguably the single most important natural resource here in the Sonoran Desert, and efforts to reduce and conserve water are taken very seriously.
Details about how the old appliances will be collected and recycled have not yet been released. A message on the Arizona Dept. of Commerce website says that information should be available by late March 2010.
Arizona is one of 17 other states starting its Appliance Rebate Program in March, while most states are scheduled to launch their programs in April. Three states including Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota have already closed their programs to new applicants as all of the funds they received have been disbursed.
I am hopeful that Arizona residents will take advantage of this great opportunity. What are your thoughts on the Arizona Appliance Rebate Program?
UPDATE: The rebate program has closed as of December 17, 2010.