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Six weeks in, $500,000 in state appliance rebate money used up

Six weeks in, $500,000 in state appliance rebate money used up

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
May 18, 2010

After more than six weeks of offering it, in excess of $500,000 of federal money being distributed by the state of Idaho for rebates for energy efficient appliances has been used up.  The Office of Energy Resources (OER), tasked with distributing the dollars, reports that more than $740,000 still remains for those interested in purchasing new appliances.

The program is similar to the “Cash for Clunkers” program last year, which allowed people to trade in older, less fuel efficient cars and receive up to $4,500 in tax rebates toward the purchase of a new car.  For the cash for appliances program, citizens are able to replace appliances – dishwashers, water heaters, dryers, and more – with newer appliances that are Energy Star certified and use less energy than older models.  Citizens can receive rebate money for up to five different appliance upgrades.

To receive a rebate, Idaho citizens must purchase an Energy Star appliance and save the receipt of that purchase.  After buying the appliance, people can log on to the state’s website for the program and fill out the application form.  After printing out the form, people will need to mail in the form, along with a copy of the receipt, and a utility bill which bears an Idaho address for verification purposes, to OER for processing.  If the rebate application is granted, applicants will be mailed a pre-paid VISA debit card 6-8 weeks later in the amount of the rebate.

In an earlier interview with IdahoReporter.com, Paul Kjellander, director for OER, said that he wanted the program to be a "slow, steady burn" of funds and not a quick shot in the arm.  Kjellander did not say how long he would like the program to last.  Several retailers in Boise and Coeur d’Alene have reported using advertising time and space to push the rebate program to sell more appliances.  Read about that here.

The state has $1.2 million for the program and once the money is gone, the state will end the program, unlike “Cash for Clunkers,” which received a second appropriation due to its popularity.

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