Appliance Rebates: Can you cash in your old applicance?

old refrigerator

Old Fridge That Qualifies - Image From Flickr

Appliance rebates are the newest “cash for clunkers” program that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act has been funding – so can you turn in your old clunker of an appliance for quick cash today?

Appliance rebate programs ending quickly

A few states, including Michigan and Iowa, have already started their appliance rebate programs. Just as quickly as they are starting, though, these programs are ending. In fact, according to Iowa’s Office Of Energy Independence, their appliance program ran out of money in just six hours.

Many state programs still have money

While Iowa’s program is out of money, many state appliance rebate programs are still up and running, or have yet to start. has a full list of approved state programs where you’ll get money for replacing your old appliance with a new, ENERGY STAR rated one. Over $300 million have been allocated for this program, and most states are or will be participating.

How do I get the rebate?

While every state has different requirements for getting a rebate on your appliances, there are a few commonalities. First, you must be replacing an old appliance that is currently being used in your home. Second, you have to agree that your old appliance will be recycled or destroyed, rather than continue to be used – so no keeping that old refrigerator as a kegerator if you want the refund. Third, the new appliance needs to be ENERGY STAR rated – meaning that they meet strict US Department of Energy guidelines for energy efficiency.

What’s the environmental impact of these rebates?

These rebates have been designed to reduce the environmental impact of appliances throughout the country. If you have an old appliance, then switching to one that has been ENERGY STAR rated can save you and the environment quite a bit of electricity (and therefore money)- up to one-third the operating cost of the appliance. However, if you toss your old appliance in the trash, you are also throwing out all the environmental good having an efficient appliance does – so find an appliance recycling program near your hometown and use it!

What if I miss out on the state appliance rebate program?

Even if you miss out on the rebates your state is offering, you can still get a fast cash return on your purchase of a new appliance. Heating and air conditioning systems as well as water heaters request federal tax credits. You should also check with your local utility company – most of them also offer rebates when you buy efficient appliances.