Beginning late this fall, the new “Cash for Clunker Appliances” program will allow rebates of $50 to $200 for purchases of high-efficiency household appliances. The money is part of the economic stimulus bill passed earlier this year in which the Energy Dept. has set a deadline of Oct. 15 for states to file formal applications. The Energy Department expects that most of the $300 million to be awarded by the end of November. Unlike the cash for clunkers auto program, people won’t have to trade in their old appliances. It remains to be seen if this new Cash For Appliances program will just give people an excuse for a second deep freezer at a discount.
“These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement announcing the plan. Only appliances covered by the Energy Star seal will qualify. In 2008, about 55% of newly produced major household appliances met those standards, which are set by the Energy Dept. and Environmental Protection Agency.