Money on its way for your kitchen remodel
But since every state is providing its rebates for energy-efficient appliances differently, don't count on extra cash unless you know you qualify.
As often is the case with government programs, the so-called "Cash for Refrigerators" program is taking a bit longer to put money into the hands of homeowners than some might originally have intended.
Is it worth holding out to see if you can save an extra $200 or so on that new, energy-efficient appliance, when you'd really rather ask for it as an early Christmas present so you can be prepared for the holiday festivities?
You're in luck if you live in Delaware, Kansas, Oregon or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Consumer Reports says their rebate programs kick off this month, but the rest of us are expected to have to wait until as late as April.
That is, for those who even qualify for their state program. The article notes that of the 17 states and territories that so far have received Department of Energy approval for their programs, the money is being doled out very differently.
And it will be at least the end of the month until the Energy Department has approved the remaining programs.
Well, at least the agency is making it easy for you to see whether you'll qualify for your state's rebate with a Web site that includes links to each of the approved programs, including the details each state plans to implement.
That's also a big benefit to first-time and move-up homebuyers who plan to take advantage of the newly extended tax credit, which expires April 30. Maybe they can consider that house with energy-wasting appliances, as long as they qualify for their state's rebate program.
However, the appliance industry, which has suffered three years of declines, is ready for the rebate program now. From The Washington Post:
"Our desire would be to see these programs rolled out as soon as funding is available," said Jill Notini, a spokeswoman for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. "Unfortunately, you may have people saying, 'It's kind of on the blink, but we'll wait.' We wish that the states would follow the intent, which is to stimulate the economy now."
The article notes that the money comes from the $787 billion stimulus program President Obama signed in February, and that some of the largest states won't start their rebate programs until more than a year after its passage: New York's program is set to start in February, California's rebate won't begin until March and residents in Pennsylvania will have to wait until spring.
Will you qualify for your state's energy-efficient appliance rebate? If so, do you plan to take advantage of it?
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.