April Showers Bring Appliance Rebates

If you are thinking of buying a new appliance, you may want to wait until April.  That’s when Texans will be eligible for $23 million in federal rebates on purchases of energy-efficient appliances.

The rebates are part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the same government stimulus program that instituted Cash for Clunkers, which offered rebates for trading in old cars.

More than 70 percent of the energy used in our homes is for appliances, refrigeration, space heating, air conditioning and water heating, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Replacing old appliances with energy-efficient ones can help homeowners save significantly on their utility bills and reduce U.S. energy usage.

To qualify for the rebates, consumers must purchase Energy Star labeled, ultra-efficient appliances from April 16-25. The 10-day period will coincide with Earth Day. Consumers will have 45 days to install up to two appliances and submit the paperwork for their rebate.

Texas consumers will be able to reserve their rebates during the two weeks prior to the program’s launch on April 16. Reservations can be made by applying online or by phone through the Texas State Energy Conservation Office.

One catch is that there is a limited amount of rebate money per city and county in Texas as designated by the office of the State Comptroller. For instance, $13,773,400 has been set aside for residents of Harris County, $3,259,800 for Montgomery County and $ 22,765,100 for the city of Houston. After the reserved rebates are paid out, remaining funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The following are the eligible appliances and their associated rebates, not including an additional $75 bonus for recycling the old appliance.

* Refrigerators  $240

* Freezers $180

* Clothes washers $150-$180

* Dishwashers $110-$140

* Room air conditioners $45

* Gas condensing water heaters $255

* Gas storage water heaters $190-$225

* Gas tankless water heaters $300

* Electric heat pump water heaters $300

* Solar water heaters $640

* Central air conditioners $600-$1,000

* Air source heat pumps $1,200-$1,600

Just like the automobile dealers offered discounts during Cash for Clunkers, you can expect sales on appliances to spring up during April. It’s in your wallet’s best interest to do the dishes in the sink for a couple more weeks and wait to buy that shiny, new dishwasher in April.

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