The Cash for Appliances program started Monday at 6 a.m. in the state of Arizona. Within less than an hour, some rebates had actually already sold out.
Arizona’s Appliance Rebate Program was designed as an incentive for purchasing energy-efficient appliances.
Administered by the Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office, the state is giving away $6.2 million dollars to consumers who purchase clothes washers, dishwashers and water heaters. The rebates range from $75 to $425, depending on the purchase.
The program has one key objective: help individual consumers replace old and inefficient appliances with new appliances that are generally 15-50 percent more energy. But the money is only available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Just about three hours after the program went live, local Phoenix NPR station KJZZ reported that both the program’s Web site and phone line was overloaded, and now those consumers looking to participate will have to be put on a waiting list, which is also managed on a first-come, first-served basis.
As of Monday at 9 a.m., rebates for dishwashers and water heaters have been closed. However, there is still an estimated $219,100 left in stimulus cash for the purchase of a new clothes washer.
Rebates are distributed via mail in the form of a Visa prepaid card. The Arizona Department of Commerce Energy Office hopes that these cards will encourage consumers to spend money at their local restaurant or retail stores.
The Cash for Appliances nationwide program will utilize nearly $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund a rebate program that encourages consumers to purchase Energy Star-certified appliances. Unlike its “Clunkers” predecessor, turning in an old model is not required – although we highly recommend recycling as an option for your washed up washers and dryers.
For the greatest potential energy savings, the DOE recommends programs focus on appliances, heating and cooling equipment and water heaters. The rebates’ worth and time lines for receiving them will be determined by individual states and territories, so every program will be a bit different.