Consumers eagerly await final details about the appliance economic stimulus plan

I have noticed a surge if searches for the keywords “appliance economic stimulus” which tells me people want to know more details about the plan and how it will work, especially on how to apply for the appliance rebate. Here’s what I know from reading numerous news article about the “Cash for Appliances” program.

Here’s what I know: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is getting ready to dole out $300 million in economic stimulus money to the states as parts of a plan to get consumers to buy new, energy- efficient, Energy Star appliances.

The program, scheduled to launch sometime in late November, will be administered by each state and the rules governing what appliances qualify, what the rebate amounts will be, and who will keep track of the program must be finalized by the states by October 15.

Right now the program is vague as no national standard exists and each state will run its own cash for appliances program. In fact, most states are seeking input from their constituents. To give your input, contact your state representative or visit your state’s website.

However, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal, “Rebates will be available only for products with the government’s Energy Star label, a symbol that the appliance meets energy efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the DOE.”

The DOE is making recommendations to the states on what appliances should qualify and recommends in room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, and refrigerators because these appliances offer the greatest energy-saving potential.

Unlike the Cash for Clunkers program, consumers will not have to turn in their old appliances in order to receive the rebate. In fact, thanks to the many programs offered by utility and state agencies across the country, consumers can get even more money by recycling their old appliances.

If you are a California resident, visit the Flex Your Power Website and enter your zip code to find appliance rebates in your area. The Flex Your Power Website is run by a partnership between utilities, residents, businesses, and other nonprofit agencies, all working to save energy.

If you are a New Jersey resident, get a cash rebate of $30 for your working Refrigerators and Freezers in addition to free pick up and recycling. To schedule the pickup of a refrigerator or freezer for recycling, New Jersey residents can call (877) 270-3520 or visit

Check with your town or city’s recycling program or sanitation service to see if you can get any cash back for your old, working appliance. According to an article from, more than 60 utilities across the nation offer some sort of refrigerator/freezer recycling program.

• To find an appliance or rebate program where you live, visit the ENERGY STAR website at
• To find additional state or local utility tax incentives or rebates for buying energy-efficient appliances, check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Read about other types of federal tax credit available for energy-efficient home improvements.


2 responses to “Consumers eagerly await final details about the appliance economic stimulus plan

  1. Can’t wait. Our 12 year old, cheap builder grade, washer, dryer, dish washer & hot water heater all need replacing. Hopefully they all hold out until the appliance program starts. We will undoubtedly be helping to stimulate the economy if they make the program worth while. If the incentives are not so great the appliances stay until they are complete toast. We replaced 1/2 of our windows this year and plan to replace the rest of the windows,the front door and insulate the garage in the next 15 months. We are waiting for the windows to go on sale again. Unfortunately the 19 year old Honda did not qualify as a clunker. Since we will be paying for the stimulus programs for the next ??? years we might as well get some benefit.

    Good thing we will be saving on our energy bills in the years to come… we will need the extra cash to pay the IRS.

    • Hi Michelle,

      From everything I have read, it sounds like the program will start sometime in late November. Of course, it will administered by the states, so different states might have different start and end dates. Be sure to check your state’s website for details.

      Also, check with your utility company (power, water, gas) to see if you can qualify for other rebates on top of the federal stimulus money. This way you can maximize your savings by combining all the rebates and credits you can find.

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