Archived Story

Consumers taking advantage of Appliance Rebate Program

Published 10:30am Monday, February 22, 2010

By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star

The Michigan Appliance Rebate Program, the appliance version of “Cash for Clunkers,” has been underway for less than two weeks.

But Jeff Miars, manager of Camden TV and Appliance in Niles, said it has already helped boost business at his store.

“In a week and a half we’ve definitely seen more activity,” Miars said. “We’ve made about a dozen sales, whether they be a dishwasher, a washer or refrigerators.”

The program, funded by $9.6 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, offers rebates on purchases of energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances in Michigan.
The program is available until the state runs out of rebate money. According to the rebate program Web site, only 9 percent of the available funds have been used so far.

Miars expects even more sales in the coming weeks as more people hear about the program. To promote the rebate program, the store has been sending out direct mailers and has an advertisement on its LED sign in front of the store.

Energy-efficient refrigerators qualify for up to a $100 rebate, while dishwasher rebates are up to $50.

“That’s a good incentive for people on the fence to get in and look at them and consider making a switch,” Miars said.

Miars said many new energy efficient appliances cost as much as 50 percent less to operate as appliances made 20 years ago.

The program may benefit the environment as well. The state hopes to pay more than112,000 rebates. The new appliances are estimated to produce a total annual energy savings of more than 14 million kilowatt hours and save more than 300 million gallons of water annually.

Bob Schodorf, a biology professor at Lake Michigan College, said the program is a step in the right direction.

Schodorf said electricity is often generated by burning coal, which hurts the atmosphere and contaminates lakes, rivers and streams.

“There’s the issue of global warming and carbon emissions with old appliances,” Schodorf said. “Any way you can think of where you can reduce the amount of energy an appliance uses is going to benefit the environment.”

To register for a rebate or for more information on the program, visit www.mirebate.com.

Available rebates
Clothes washers (Consortium for Energy Efficiency Tier 3) – $50
Refrigerators (Energy Star) – $50
Refrigerators (CEE Tier 3) – $100
Dishwashers (Energy Star) – $25
Dishwashers (CEE Tier 2) – $50
Propane Furnaces – $300
Propane Water Heaters – $100
Oil Furnaces – $300
Solar Water Heaters – $1,200

Source: State of Michigan

Looking to recycle your old appliance?
Lake Michigan College is holding a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Event on March 24 from 3 to 7 p.m. People can drop off old appliances, electronics and household hazardous waste to have recycled at the east parking lot at the main campus.

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