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Go Green Appliance Rebate Program Hopes to Stimulate Economy in New Year

Matt Sapaula

I am a proud father, financial strategist, TV commentator and financial talk show host of Money Smart Radio

I told my friend Steve Green of Go Green Management that there was a special government appliance rebate program coming...in his honor.  Naaah! But since there is SOME truth to this, I thought I'd at least mention this attempt to stimulate our economy once again, through the stimulus plan known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

With the new year, Illinois residential consumers may qualify for a new rebate program if they buy energy efficient appliances. This is a national program but each state has it's own rules and ways to administer the appliance rebate program.  There has been some buzz about this on our Facebook page, so I just had to drop some thoughts.

Last year's federal stimulus package set aside $300-million for the appliance rebate program.  Illinois with get about will get about $12 million of that.

Here is what it says on the U.S. Department of Energy's website for Illinois residents:

The State of Illinois will implement a two-phase instant rebate program to help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified models. The first phase is tentatively scheduled to run in January 2010. Consumers can receive rebates through heating, air conditioning, and water heater contractors on eligible products. The second phase will begin on Earth Day 2010, when consumers can receive rebates on ENERGY STAR qualified appliances at select retail locations.

Eligible products include

  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Room air conditioners
  • Gas condensing water heaters
  • Gas storage water heaters
  • Gas tankless water heaters
  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Gas and propane furnaces
  • Gas boilers
  • Central air conditioners
  • Air source heat pumps

To receive new product rebates, consumers must purchase from "participating" retailers. Consumers can receive an additional mail-in rebate with proof that they have recycled the old appliances.

Contact: Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Energy and Recycling

Total Funding: $12,379,000

How much can you get?

Generally speaking, the larger the energy savings of a product, the larger the rebate. It's expected that the rebates will range between $50 to $ 250 per appliance but unlike the "Cash for Clunkers" program, consumers will not have to turn in their old appliances in order to buy a more efficient one and to qualify for the rebate.

For products that have refrigerants in them, customers will have to show proof of recycling the old appliance before they can get the rebate.  But many retailers have promised to help with recycling.

What is the possible long-term savings for a consumer who purchases a new appliance?

For example, replacing an eight-year-old washing machine with an energy-efficient one, consumers can typically save 5,000 gallons of water and 600 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is about $78 in annual savings.  Replacing a refrigerator made before 1993 with a new ENERGY STAR model can save up to $65 per year.   Do the math in how long this type of savings with pay off for you...in most cases, it will take several years down the road.

In my opinion, unless you really need it, don't buy it...and definitely DON'T finance it or put it on a credit card if you know you can't pay it back within the grace period! C'mon SOMEBODY!!

What did we learn from the Cash for Clunkers program?

Remember, this is still OUR money we are spending here. This is taxpayer money...in advance. This is NOT FREE money that we, as Americans, collectively still have to pay back, eventually.  This is also a REBATE, not a tax credit.

For more info:


P.S. A big SHOUT OUT to FOX Radio and it's national affiliates who allowed me to come onto their morning shows to discuss this...you guys ROCK!

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Girls & Toys said:


Just so I'm clear, did you say rebates for 'stimulating appliances?' Because my friends and I may be raking in some serious dough, Bro.

Dan said:

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While this is interesting, it is even more important for households realize that there are so many simple, easy and no cost & low cost ways for energy saving in their existing homes:


This free collection of energy savings and water savings tips has been compiled over 2 years from hundreds of people across North America on ways they use in their own homes.

So far, this growing energy savings guide contains more than 500 ways to save on electricity, natural gas, home heating oil and clean water usage, including:

400+ which are simple and easy to do
275+ which cost absolutely nothing to do
115+ which cost just a little to do
120+ clean water savings tips
115+ electricity savings tips
110+ heating savings tips
... and more.

The best thing about energy saving in home is that it directly and immediately reduces that household's utility bills month after month afer month.

I hope this helps others as it has been helping us reduce our own utility bills.


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