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SALT LAKE CITY -- If you're thinking about replacing that old water heater, clothes washer or other appliance, now is a good time to think about doing that. Starting May 12, the Utah State Energy Program has more than $2 million available for rebates on energy-saving appliances.
This is part of the federal economic stimulus program, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that has been going on for the past couple of years. This one operates similar to Cash for Clunkers -- the program that helped remove old vehicles off the road. Now we have Cash for Appliances.
The federal government is distributing $300 million in all 50 states to urge people to replace older, energy-eating appliances.
• $30 rebate on ENERGY STAR® qualified room air conditioners
• $300 rebate on ENERGY STAR® qualified gas furnaces with an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of at least 90%
• $300 on ENERGY STAR® qualified gas tankless water heaters with an energy factor (EF) of at least.82
• $50 on gas storage water heaters with an energy factor (EF) of at least .67
"Each state gets a certain amount, depending upon population. Utah has about $2.3 million to disperse to customers in the state," says Steve Hamblin, operations manager at R.C. Willey's South Salt Lake store.
Mary Jane Emrazian was already out looking on day one. Unfortunately, the rebates didn't apply to the appliance she was hunting.
"I am disappointed about that," Emrazian said. "It would be great."
But Emrazian acknowledges the rebate program may make her consider replacing other appliances sooner.
"It would for me because we tend to use our appliances as long as possible and when you can get a good deal on something, I would take advantage of it," she said.
Under the state energy program, clothes washers, gas furnaces, water heaters and room air conditioners will qualify; but those appliances have to meet certain efficiency standards.
The rebates can be as little as $30 for a room air conditioner to as much as $300 for a tankless water heater.
"There are a lot of energy-eating appliances on the market. We're trying to get ‘green,' and in order to do that we have to get some of the old appliances off the market with some machines that will conserve energy, power, water," Hamblin says.
This program has been in the works for a while, and Hamblin says a number of states have already dispersed all of their rebate allotments. If you're thinking about taking advantage of the state rebate, he says it's important to keep in mind that the program is first-come, first-serve. So, when the money's gone, that's it.
Hamblin estimates that the $2.3 million available in Utah will probably be gone in four or five months.
A few other things to keep in mind regarding the state rebate program:
- You only get a rebate if you replace an appliance. You don't get one if you a building a new house and putting in all new appliances from scratch.
- Appliances purchased prior to May 12, 2010 -- no matter how energy efficient -- don't qualify for a rebate from the state.
- However, the utility companies Questar and Rocky Mountain Power have their own rebate programs, so you may qualify with them.
For more details on the Cash fore Appliances program, CLICK HERE.
Story compiled with contributions from Keith McCord and Andrew Adams.