Cash for Appliances

Cash for Appliances
You probably know about Cash for Clunkers, the government’s stimulus program that spurred the auto industry while taking less fuel-efficient vehicles off the road. What you may not know about is a new stimulus program that affects your home and appliances.

What Is It?

It’s called Cash for Appliances or Cash for Refrigerators. What the program allows is for consumers, you and me, to receive rebates or economic incentives for purchasing energy star appliances—kind of like cash for old appliances. The government has funneled 300 million dollars into funding the program. Right now, North Carolina is shaping their plan to run Cash for Appliances, and will submit finalized plans to the U.S. Department of Energy on October 15. The state has $8.8 million available to fund the program, and may receive additional money from the Economic Recovery and Investment Act.

What’s the Point?

The Cash for Refrigerators program has several benefits. First, it gives the economy a boost. The hard-hit manufacturing and retail industries will get a jump-start from the sale of new appliances. At the same time, old energy-hogging appliances will go off the grid. Replacing the dinosaurs will be energy star appliances, which are far more energy-efficient and earth-friendly. Lastly, consumers will save cash. By purchasing a new heating system or washing machine, energy bills will take a nosedive. The extra cash may provide more impetus for spending—and greater economic uptick.

How Does It Work?

Rather than ditching your fridge and getting a check, the Cash for Appliances program will most likely be confined to actual cash-register purchases of state-selected appliances. Although cash for old appliances makes it sounds like a cash-reward for turning in old products, the cash reward comes in the form of a rebate. Included in the rebate program are energy star appliances like refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, furnaces, central air units, water heaters and other similar appliances. Since North Carolina wants to make cash for used appliances program as easy as possible for consumers, which means eliminating extra paperwork, and allowing it to be a simple one-step process. Details should be available sometime after the October 15 deadline for plan submittal and subsequent government approval.

When Will It Happen?

After mid-October, the government will begin reviewing state-led Cash for Appliances programs. If approved, they will receive the funding and be able to introduce the program to consumers. Some predict that the program will begin as early as December, in time for the Christmas shopping season. It is very likely that at the least, North Carolina will have the program underway by early 2010. At that time details will be available, meaning you can go to the store and start look for new appliances.

What Do You Think?

How will the program help you? What action will you take based on the program? Will this affect your decision to purchase new appliances?