Energy Star and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have updated their information on when “cash for appliances” rebate programs will begin around the country. All 54 states and U.S. territories had their rebate proposals approved by DOE by Dec. 15, and Delaware, Kansas, and Oregon kicked off their consumer rebates this month, according to the Energy Star website.
The program, dubbed the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, or SEEARP, gained traction over the summer when nearly $300 million in federal stimulus money was made available to fund the effort. SEEARP had been written into the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but no funding was available at the time.
Rebate Program Details
Generally speaking, SEEARP offers consumer rebates for Energy Star-rated appliances. Details, including which appliances are eligible for rebates, the amount of those rebates, and which residents may claim them, differ by state. For example, the Kansas program is geared to low-income households replacing specific appliances that are at least 10 years old. Oregon’s program is offering rebates for heating systems only.
Consumers, as well as remodelers with clients interested in taking advantage of the rebates, will want to pay close attention to the dates during which rebates will be made available. Kansas began it’s SEEARP program on Dec. 10 and will stop issuing rebate vouchers on Jan. 14. The Kansas Housing Resources Corp., which is administrating the program, says that it expects the $2.6 million it received from the DOE to fund rebates for about 4,800 qualifying appliances. The state had just completed a separate appliance rebate program, which received 1,500 voucher applications over and above the funding that was available. Invitations for SEEARP funding have been extended to those 1,500 residents who have through Jan. 14 to respond. If there is still SEEARP money left over after that date, the organization will look into a program extension.
According to a chart outlining approximate SEEARP start-dates, most states plan to begin offering rebates in March and April, though a few will roll out their programs in January and February. Illinois is planning a two-phase program with rebates for heating and cooling equipment available in January, and a second round of rebates for refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and other appliances in April.
To outline details about each state’s program, the DOE has set up the website, www.energysavers.gov. The site shares information on how much stimulus money was allocated to each state for its SEEARP program, which appliances will qualify, and when the programs are projected to begin.
Visit Remodeling Online frequently for updates on the SEEARP program, including comments from appliance industry representatives and details on how remodelers can help clients take advantage of the rebates. --Lauren Hunter, associate editor, REMODELING.