Next program offers cash for appliances

HOUSTON What cash for clunkers did for car sales, the new cash for appliances may do for home machinery. The program's rules are still being written, but we do know Texas will get $23 million to cut the cost of Energy Star rated appliances. The idea is to help consumers save money on their power bills by helping them get rid of older appliances.

Zion Greenfield with Home Depot explained, "Refrigerators today are anywhere between 25 and 50 percent more efficient than just five years ago. If you go back ten years, that figure doubles."

Just what kinds of products will be included is still being decided, but there are several appliances that come with an Energy Star rating. Refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and even dishwashers can be found with an Energy Star rating, but it's up to state officials to decide which will be eligible for a rebate and how much that rebate will be.

While the rules are being drafted, appliance store owners are hoping the program will bring them the same kind of attention car dealers got with the cash for clunkers program.

"We do think it's the right program at the right time for the appliance industry," said Doug Rapier of Factory Builder Stores. "We certainly will enjoy the attention on the appliance business, and we think that it will help our business overall."

The program will not be available until after October 15, and that means consumers who are thinking of buying a new appliance may want to wait until the plan is revealed to see if it benefits them.

Rapier said, "The details are sketchy, but I think it will be worthwhile to wait and see where the money is going to be spent."

The rebates could be from $50 to $200 for appliances, but again, the final details of the appliance plan will not be going out until the middle of October. We will keep you updated on the details as they become available.

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