These days, buying a new appliance involves much more than simply replacing an old or broken appliance. The current energy-efficient climate in the country has spawned a host of new features and incentives in the form of Energy Star rebates. Many people overlook these benefits when making a purchase, but you don’t have to. There are some important things that all homeowners need to know when looking for that new stove or refrigerator. You could actually lower your utility bills and receive a little extra cash from the new appliance in the process.
The Energy Star Label is Key
The Energy Star label is not placed on appliances for marketing purposes. It actually indicates appliances that are energy efficient and can save you money on your utility bills. The Energy Star certification is awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to appliances that meet the minimum federal standards for efficiency. For the homeowner, such appliances can reduce home energy bills up to 29 percent, saving thousands of dollars each year on those bills. The local, state, and federal governments offer incentives to urge people to buy energy-efficient appliances.
Look First to the State Programs
Most federal rebates have expired, but states still offer many incentives in the form of Energy Star appliance rebates. To get a rebate, you must purchase an Energy Star-labeled appliance and complete a rebate form. These rebate forms are found in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. In Massachusetts, for example, the rebates can range from $50 for a refrigerator to $10 for a smart power strip to $1,000 for a heat pump water heater. The rebates do have deadlines, but they are worth the trouble. Who doesn’t want to receive extra cash for a purchase that is going to be made anyway?
Local Utilities Also Have Options
Municipalities and utility companies get into the act as well. They also offer incentives to urge residents and customers to buy energy-efficient appliances. You can take advantage of this by applying for their rebates as well. The town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, for example, offers $50 rebates for washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers with the Energy Star label. This rebate comes from the city’s cable and electric companies as well. Coupled with the state’s incentive, a new Energy Star-certified fridge could net you a $100 bill and thousands of dollars in savings on your utility bills each year. To check on rebate programs in Central Massachusetts here are a few resources:
- Energy Star Rebate Finder
- Mass Save Residential Rebates
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
While you are out looking for a new appliance, why not try to earn some cash in the process. Read the Energy Star labels carefully to get an appliance that saves you the most on your energy bills. (The labels actually list a savings estimate to help.) Then, run right home to the DOE’s database to see if there are any rebates available for your area. A call to the utility companies won’t hurt either. In the end, the Energy Star rebates can make your new stove or fridge the best deal you can make this year.