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Cash for clunkers, but for appliances

Seven On Your Side
September 5, 2009 7:18:53 AM PDT
$50 to $200 rebates for select applianes to start this November.If you liked cash for clunkers for cars how about appliances? That's right the federal government has plans to release $300 million for rebates when you buy certain energy efficient appliances. But will the discounts be big enough to entice consumers? And how do you qualify?

If an appliance has an energy star symbol, it can wind up saving you some green. 7 On Your Side's Tappy Phillips spied alot of them in John Cioletti's appliance store. He the symbol proves an appliance is energy efficient and may qualify for a rebate of up to $200 from the federal government.

"Anytime sometime can stimulate a little business," proclaims the owner of Reno's Appliances in Paterson, New Jersey. "It's going to be good."

Call it cash for clunkers, for appliances. The federal government will shell out $300 million in rebates. But states will have to apply for the money and then administer it. The rebates will kick in if you buy an energy efficient boiler, dishwasher, clothes washing machine, air conditioning unit, or refrigerator.

"There still are alot of details that have to be ironed out," says Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com. "But right now we know that it's probably going to be a rebate of $50 to $200 on major appliances."

The idea behind the program is to stimulate appliance sales as well as replace old appliances with newer more energy efficient models.

But unlike the cash for clunkers program, you don't have to trade in your old appliance.

But will it make a difference? And transform browsers into buyers? The consumer expert we spoke to is skeptical. "A $50 rebate won't be a huge difference if you have a $500 appliance," says Grant.

But, if you combine it with other rebates already offered, the savings grow. For instance, New Jersey pays an additional $30 rebate if you dispose of an old fridge.

Or they'll give you another $75 dollar rebate on certain energy efficient washing machines.

As for the federal rebates - they won't be available until November. But appliance store owners who are fighting to stay above water, are hoping that money won't be too late.

"We need them in the stores now," says Cioletti. "We don't need them to wait for this program until November."

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Information on NJ Energy Star Rebate Program

Story by: Tappy Phillips


Produced by: Steve Livingstone

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