Cash for Refrigerators Program Coming This Fall

Posted on August 24, 2009

A program being dubbed "Cash for Refrigerators" is coming this fall. Businessweek says the program will offer customers $50 to $200 for buying high-efficiency appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. Customers will not have to turn in their old appliances.
Beginning late this fall, the program authorizes rebates of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances. The money is part of the broader economic stimulus bill passed earlier this year. Program details will vary by state, and the Energy Dept. has set a deadline of Oct. 15 for states to file formal applications. The Energy Dept. expects the bulk of the $300 million to be awarded by the end of November. (Unlike the clunkers auto program, consumers won't have to trade in their old appliances.)

"These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement announcing the plan. Only appliances covered by the Energy Star seal will qualify. In 2008, about 55% of newly produced major household appliances met those standards, which are set by the Energy Dept. and Environmental Protection Agency.
Businessweek doesn't think "Cash for Refrigerators" will be enough to pull appliance manufacturers like Whirlpool and Electrolux out of the red. However, it does sound like a good opportunity for consumers. Consumers will get a rebate on new appliances. These appliances use less energy so consumers should also save money on their electric bill. The Businessweek story says program details will vary in each state so there could some confusion with the program. There are also already some unrelated refrigerator recycling program running in several states - see here.