Cash for Appliances Government Stimulus Program Will Give Money for Old Appliances

by Kevin on September 24, 2009

Cash for clunkers was all the rage for a few months this year. People dragging in old cars for a $4,500 government rebate in order to buy a new, shiny car. The auto industry needed saving so we gave them billions of dollars and then directly encouraged the American public to give them even more. Pure genius.

Now there is discussion of doing a similar program for old, outdated, and potentially energy inefficient appliances. The plan is being called Cash for Appliances.

How Cash for Appliances Works

According to this government blog post (yes, apparently the government has a blog) that talks about Cash for Appliances. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funded $300 million to a new program for giving rebates to consumers that purchase EnergyStar labeled new appliances.

The idea is that appliances consume a lot of energy. Older appliances generally weren’t built with energy efficiency in mind. If we could replace all of the old, inefficient appliances with new, efficient appliances… well, that would be a good thing for our overall energy consumption levels.

For examples you could trade in this old washing machine:

cash for appliances

(Photo by Anjuli)

For something shiny and new from your favorite big box retailer.

What Appliances Are Eligible for Cash for Appliances Rebates?

Curious as to what potential appliances you could receive a government rebate on? The answer is simple: pretty much anything that would normally be considered a major appliance in your home such as:

  • dishwasher
  • refrigerator
  • stove
  • microwave
  • washing machine
  • dryer
  • water heaters
  • HVAC systems (heat pumps and air conditioners)

How Much Money will Cash for Appliance Rebates Give Me?

According to the reports I have seen you should be able to get $50 to $200 rebate for purchasing an Energy Star appliance. From what I understand you won’t need to drag your old appliance into the store to get the rebate — that would be far too many appliances turned in to retailers.

State Energy Programs Will Run Cash for Appliances

Even though the federal government is funding this program with $300 million of federal taxpayer dollars the individual states will run the program. This is because many states already have some sort of energy program in place.

The states will get different amounts to fund the programs within their own state. I’m guessing this was done on population size. For example Alabama will receive $4,472,947 in potential rebate money while Rhode Island will receive $1,008,198.

To see how much money your state will receive from Cash for Appliances check out this PDF file from the Department of Energy.

When Will Cash for Appliances Begin?

The program is scheduled to start some time this fall. While the logistics are being worked out the government is recommending you reach out to your own state’s energy office. Each state will set up their own program and the government will review the programs some time in October. If everything goes according to our energy efficient plans funding could be given to states in November.

The Department of Energy has a website that provides you the contact information for every state’s energy office. You can reach out to them to see when the plan is expected to kick off.

What is your opinion of this new government rebate program? Will you consider using Cash for Appliances?


Kate Kashman September 24, 2009 at 9:28 am

I’ve been hearing about this for a while and it seems it might actually happen. I need to get organized to jump in if that is the right choice for my family…I fear the money will go quickly.

Now, off to figure if this makes more sense than buying used.

Golfing Girl September 25, 2009 at 6:21 am

I’m still trying to figure out how dumping all these perfectly good vehicles and appliances in landfills is good for the environment… 🙁

Destrie October 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm

The paragon of undertasnding these issues is right here!

hkpbtplh October 3, 2011 at 4:12 am

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Shaun Carter September 26, 2009 at 12:56 pm

@Golfing Girl – I don’t think the environment was represented in this plan. It is certainly hurting the environment, and metal recyclers because the price of scrap is plummeting as supply increases substantially.

All this is doing is costing taxpayers money and artificially and temporarily increasing demand for new cars and appliances.

Mrs. White September 30, 2009 at 7:38 am

I really appreciate this post. I was looking to buy a new stove in the next few months so this is good news to me!

Thank you for such an informative, detailed article!

Mrs. White

Maggie's Mom October 10, 2009 at 11:56 am

Does anyone know if you buy one now you can still get the rebate buy sending in the receipt or something because they still haven’t listed a date to when this is starting in my state and I need a new refridge now I can’t wait until they get around to it

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