Cash for your Old Appliances?

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The government just recently finished spending $3 Billion dollars on the Cash for Clunkers program that by some accounts was fairly successful. By other accounts it didn’t quite live up to what it promised, but either way, it is very clear that the American public responded quickly to the offer. As a result I have been hearing rumors about a Cash for Clunkers type program geared towards old appliances.

cash for refrigerators and old appliances.jpgI did a little digging to find out some of the proposed details of the program. It seems like no one has really settled on a name yet – I have seen it called “Cash for Appliances” and “Cash for Refrigerators”. So as the final details get settled, I assume the program’s name will be sealed as well.

Tentative details of the Cash for Appliances program

  • The program would give you $50-$200 rebate for choosing a new energy efficient appliance. The State Governments will have a say in the amount paid out.
  • $300 Million dollars have been set aside for the program by the federal government as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
  • The “Cash for Appliances” program is expected to roll out in November of 2009.
  • No trade in of an old appliance will be required to get the rebate.
  • Only appliances that are covered by Energy Star will qualify for the rebate.

What is the purpose of the program

Just like the Cash for Clunkers program, this one has a dual purpose as well. The goals are to boost the ailing appliance industry (GE, Whirlpool, Electrolux, and other big names have been struggling and have laid off many workers) as well as help the environment by decreasing the number of inefficient appliances out there.

My thoughts on the program

Personally, I like the idea of this program a lot more than the Clunkers program. The deal offered for the Clunkers program really wasn’t much of a deal in my opinion. My hunch is that it actually harmed many Americans because they now had an extra incentive to run out and buy a new car. With the drastic depreciation rates of new cars, it is rarely a good idea to buy a brand new car when you could choose a 2-year old option (see Dave Ramsey’s argument for buying used cars).

But with the new Appliance Bill, consumers will likely benefit more. Not only will they get the rebate from the government, but in many cases the new appliances may pay for themselves over time. A 10-year old refrigerator often uses 3 times as much energy as the newer models. Many consumers will be greatly decreasing their energy bills each month by replacing old appliances with new ones.

So, as the details are finalized keep an eye out for the program to start in a month or so…

Further Reading: Cash for Refrigerators – New stimulus package, Latest in Stimulus: Cash for Refridgerators

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18 Comments
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  1. I think that this new Cash for Refrigerators program is a great stimulus plan for helping small business owners and the cities/towns in which they operate. I was unable to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers Autos program, but I’m looking forward to trading in our old appliances for new energy-efficient ones!

  2. I do not see this new clunker bill being any better off then the cash for clunkers. Like all coupon programs, you tend not to increase sales over the long run. In most cases people that purchase with a coupon are already in the market or are planning to buy within the next 6 months. I can predict we will see a large fall off in car sales over the next few months, so while we have a spike now all these gains will be lost during the coming slump. This appliance push is more of the same. It might appear that the customers could benefit from this. But I would rather have the Government get out of the sales business. I want my money back. Look at it this way, this bill will “initially” cost 330million, with the current population of the US at 305million that is over $1000 per-person. What type of fridge could I buy for a thousand dollars. Additionally at $1000 per-person,if they just give the money back, or $200 max through the program where is the missing $800? Government overhead, Corruption, Somebody’s pockets besides mine.

  3. michelle

    Do you really mean Nov. 2010 – it won’t start for more than a year? My parents heard of it and are postponing replacement, but dunno if they want to wait a year.

    • @michelle,
      I didn’t see anything in any of the articles I read to indicate that it would be 2010, they seemed to imply it would be this November – but who knows!

  4. Courtney

    “Look at it this way, this bill will “initially” cost 330million, with the current population of the US at 305million that is over $1000 per-person.”

    How in the world did you get $1000 per person? If there is $300M available and the rebate is up to $200 then 1.65 million people would be able to get the maximum rebate before the money ran out ($300,000,000/$200). Or, to put it your way, if the allotted funds were distributed equally among the population of the United States it would be about a dollar a person, not $1000. Get a calculator.

  5. @bob
    you state in the post that it would be Nov 2010 i think thats why michelle is confused

  6. after I made the post I realized I messed up with my math. But my point still is, I do not want the government taxing me to redistribute it to other people. Let me keep my money and I will stimulate the economy by spending it.

  7. I have a question. Right now there is a program as part of the stimulus bill that offers a 30% rebate (up to $1500) on qualified home improvements like EnergyStar windows, insulation, furnace equipment, and even insulated garage doors. It is my understanding that energy-efficient appliances are part of this 30% rebate. My question: Will this new rebate ($50-$200) be in addition to the 30% rebate or in place of it? I’m guessing that this new rebate is going to be about 10% of the purchase price and if that’s the case I’d rather use the existing program.

  8. My biggest problem with this program is that the old appliances do not have to be traded in for the rebate. I’ve already talked with several people who plan to buy a second refrigerator!

  9. The 30% Tax Credit only applies to items that make your actual home more efficient in terms of heating and cooling (i.e. windows, insulation, furnace, garage doors, etc.) so it doesn’t cover things likes washers, dryers and refrigerators. This new credit will apply to all those other big energy using items in your home.

  10. Mike shafer

    As a business owner, I ‘m interested in seeing how the gov. wants us to handle the cash. The auto cash for clunkers had problems.

  11. Dr. Peter G. Van Schultze

    Dear Cash for inefficient appliances.
    Late last year, I purchased a new Refrigerator from “Good Buys.”
    The refrigerator was clearly marked: ” $ 200.oo rebate”
    Will I get my $ 200.oo or not?
    I provided all the info and paperwork required.
    That was well before the fund was exhausted.
    Please, let me know, as I do hope this is a secure program.
    Thank you,
    Dr. Peter G. Van Schultze

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