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Appliance Rebates in Limbo

July 27th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

17 million dollars in rebates for Florida consumers who purchase energy efficient appliances has been in limbo since the stimulus package became law in February. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, it may be the end of the year before the money starts flowing.        

Nationwide, the appliance business is off 21 percent. Yet nearly 300 million dollars in stimulus money for appliance rebates nationally…17 million of it destined for Florida consumers alone, remains in limbo. Jeremy Susac of the Governors Energy Office says it will be late this year before any money flows.

The first step in the equation is to go to the Federal Government with a plan, says Susac. In that plan we are going to recommend during our workshops of having the rebate at the point of sales to participate customer participation.

Savvy customers have been asking about the rebates, which could run as much as 20 percent on a refrigerator or washer.

Right now there are more questions than answers. Retailers dont know how much the rebate is going to be, when it will start, or if it is retroactive. Mike Monroe of May Monroe Appliances in Tallahassee says the delay is frustrating for businesses.

Very frustrating. Yeah, it would be nice because in these economic times it would be nice to generate a little revenue, says the proprietor of a store in business since 1936.

By making the switch to energy saving appliances, especially refrigerators, Monroe says consumers can save twice. 

Now we are looking at a national average of about fifty dollars a year…and they say ones that are ten plus years old probably cost about two to three hundred dollars a year to operate.

Florida has already appropriated 150 thousand dollars to administer the rebates…which will hopefully begin before your old appliances give out.   

A meeting August 10th in Tallahassee will take testimony from businesses and consumers about what products should be included in the rebates and how the money should be given to customers.

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