Cash for Other Clunkers
First it was cars -- now it's appliances. Starting late this year or early next year, states will offer rebates ranging from $50 to $250 when you purchase new Energy Star-qualified appliances to replace your "clunkers" (and, no, you don't have to drag in your old fridge).
The federal government is handing out $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to all 50 states and six U.S. territories to fund the rebates. Each state will set rebate amounts and select appliances that will qualify. Among the appliances that the Department of Energy (DOE) is recommending states choose are central air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and water heaters. According to the DOE, some states may offer the rebate at the time of purchase; others may require customers to mail in a form to receive a check.
Check with your state energy department or the DOE Web site for more information about the rebate program. States were required to submit their proposals by October 15, so details about rebate amounts and qualifying appliances should be available soon.
Some of these purchases will qualify for tax breaks, too. See 8 Ways the Feds Will Pay You to Go Green for information about which energy-efficient appliances qualify.