Cash for Clunker Appliances: Time is Running Out

Don't delay�get your rebate before it's gone

Ooooh....looks like money!

If you’re planning to take advantage of the appliance rebate program, you better put some pep in that step. Depending on the state in which you reside, time (and money) is running out. The program, which began last December (starting with the state of Delaware), offers from $50 to $500 in rebates when you purchase Energy Star qualified appliances for your residence. Qualifying appliances include boilers, air conditioners, and refrigerators. Each state has until February 2012 to spend money provided for the rebate program, which was funded by the $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. However, some states have already run out of their portion (such as Minnesota and Kansas) and have closed their programs.

Know that only purchases that replace an existing appliance are eligible for a rebate. And in some states you’ll have to provide proof that your old appliance has been taken away or recycled. The good news is that some states will provide an additional rebate if you recycle your old appliance. (And it’s good for the environment. Give Mother Nature an early Earth Day gift and present her with your old boiler. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it).

Each state has its own guidelines for how its share of the rebate money will be divided. You can get information about your state’s rules by visiting ApplianceRebate.com. In addition, each state has its own rebate program Website. The state Websites offer rebate forms and a list of instructions on how to participate in its appliance rebate program. A directory to the states’ rebate Websites can be accessed by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy Website.   The U.S. Department of Energy Website lists the amount of money allocated to each state and the start date for each program.

For those of you who reside in states where the program has yet to begin (such as Maryland and West Virginia) don’t delay when you get your chance. Get your rebate before it’s gone.

Sheiresa Ngo is the consumer affairs editor at Black Enterprise.

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