Mississippi "Cash for Appliances" Program Starts April 22

April 23, 2010

Following the success of last year’s “Cash for Clunkers” program, the federal government recently announced the creation of a similar rebate program for consumers looking to purchase new energy-efficient appliances. The program begins April 22, and Mississippi residents could save a lot on the purchase of new appliances.

“This is a great opportunity to replace an older appliance with a more energy-efficient one, which has many benefits both to the consumer in the form of lower energy bills, and will help reduce demand for resources such as electricity and water,” said Bill Moak, President of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Mississippi. 

The federal government has set aside $300 million from last year’s stimulus package to fund the new State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate program (SEEARP), $2.8 million which has been allocated to Mississippi on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Rebates range from $50 for freezers to $750 for geothermal heat pumps. Program details will be available at www.mississippirebate.com and http://www.energysavers.gov/financial/70022.html.

SEEARP has a two-fold purpose: to provide economic activity in the appliance industry, which has seen a 15 percent drop in sales, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers; and to increase energy efficiency in households by replacing old appliances with newer “greener” ones. According to ENERGYSTAR.gov, the typical household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills but could save over one-third or about $700 per year by making the switch to ENERGY STAR products.

ENERGY STAR standards are set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency and help consumers identify energy-efficient products in 60 different categories including appliances, windows and doors, heating and cooling equipment and water heaters. In 2008, about 55 percent of new major household appliances had the ENERGY STAR seal.

Following are some things for consumers to keep in mind:

  • The following types of appliances may qualify for rebates: Dishwashers, Room Air Conditioners, Refrigerators, Clothes Washers, Freezers, Gas Storage Water Heaters,  Tankless Water Heaters, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Heat Pump Water Heaters, Air Source Heat Pumps, Gas Furnaces and, Central Air Conditioners.
  • No trade-in will be required. Unlike the Cash For Clunkers program, wherein participants had to hand over their old car and the clunker was sent to the scrap heap, participants in cash for appliances are not required by the federal government to exchange an older appliance for a new one.
  • Remember, once the money is gone, no more is available. However, some appliances may qualify for existing rebate or tax credit programs. 
  • Keep your guard up. Remember, con artists often try to take advantage of consumers by posting fraudulent websites, sending emails, or offering to help process rebates.