GRAPHIC

A guide to the appliance rebate program

By Melissa Bell
Washington Post Staff Writer

All new appliances must perform at some level of efficiency. In some cases, the well-known Energy Star rating qualifies. In other cases, appliances must exceed Energy Star ratings and be considered "super-efficient." Go to the Energy Star Web site for the exact specifications for each appliance.
This month Virginia, Maryland and the District will be rolling out energy-efficient appliance rebate programs. Residents who replace an old appliance with a new one can expect a check in the mail to cover part of the cost. Utility companies currently offer their own rebates on appliances, so in some instances, customers can expect to get twice the rebate. A warning, though: The federal government allotted only a certain amount of money for the program. As soon as the money runs out, the rebate program will end.

Here's what you need to know to get your rebate:

When does the program start? It should begin on April 22. Sign up for the Maryland Energy Administration e-newsletter to find out the exact launch date. Or look for the announcement on your utility bill. Customers cannot get a federal rebate if an appliance was purchased before the program begins.
What appliances will be covered and how much will the federal rebate be?
  • Energy Star electric heat pump water heater $300
  • Super-efficient washing machine $100
  • Super-efficient refrigerator $50
What documentation will be needed? The utility companies will be in charge of rebates for their customers. Pick up a form at the appliance store or download it from the utility company Web site. This form must be mailed to your utility company with a proof of purchase. These forms vary among the utilities.
Will you need to recycle? There is no need to prove that the appliance has been recycled (except for Allegheny Power customers -- they must recycle their refrigerators to receive the rebate). However, the old appliance cannot be moved to another part of the house; it must be put out of service.
Where to buy? The appliances must be purchased in Maryland or online.
What are the additional rebates from utility companies? BGE: Washing machine $50, Refrigerator $50, BGE will also pick up your old, working refrigerator and mail an additional $50 rebate within a month.

Allegheny Power: Washing machine $75, Refrigerator $50, Allegheny Power will also pick up your old, working refrigerator and mail an additional $35 rebate.

Pepco: Refrigerator $50

SMECO: Electric heat pump water heater $25, Washing machine $50, Refrigerator $50, SMECO will also pick up your old, working refrigerator and mail an additional $50 rebate within a month.

Delmarva Power: Refrigerator $50

When does the program start? The program is slated to begin April 28. The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy will announce the day on its Web site, as well as in a statewide advertising campaign. Customers must make a reservation on the Web site after the program starts and before they buy an appliance to ensure they have access to the rebate money.
What appliances will be covered and how much will the federal rebate be?
  • Energy Star washing machine $75
  • Energy Star refrigerator $60
  • Energy Star air source heat pump $300
  • Energy Star storage gas water heater $35
  • Energy Star tankless gas water heater $225
  • Energy Star gas furnace $250
What documentation will be needed? The utility companies will oversee rebates. Rebate forms may vary among companies and may require the purchase date, location, model number, proof of energy efficiency, and a signed statement verifying that the old appliance will no longer be used.
Will you need to recycle? Customers will need to sign a statement that asserts the old model will no longer be used in the home. The homeowner will be responsible for recycling the appliances.
Where to buy? Rebates will be available for appliances purchased either in store or online from retailers with a physical Virginia location.
What are the additional rebates from utility companies? Columbia Gas: Storage gas water heater $50, Tankless gas water heater $300, Gas furnace $300

Washington Gas Company: Gas furnace $250, Storage gas water heater $50, Super-efficient storage gas water heater $250

Virginia Natural Gas: Storage gas water heater $150, Gas tankless water heater $500, Gas furnace $500

James City Water Service: Washing machine $75

When does the program start? The program will begin in late May. Enter an e-mail address at this Web site and the District Department of the Environment will notify you the day the program begins. What appliances will be covered and how much will the rebate be?
What appliances will be covered and how much will the federal rebate be?
  • Energy Star washing machine $100
  • Super-efficient washing machine $125
  • Energy Star dishwasher $50
  • Super-efficient dishwasher $75
  • Energy Star refrigerator $50
  • Energy Star freezer $25
  • Energy Star electric heat pump water heater $300
What documentation will be needed? The District Department of the Environment will be in charge of distributing rebates. All District residents will use one form found on the Web site. You will need proof of residency and a proof of purchase.
Will you need to recycle? Customers do not need to recycle, but they will need to prove that the old appliance has been taken out of service.
Where to buy? Residents can purchase the appliances outside the District.
What are the additional rebates from utility companies? Pepco: Refrigerator $50

SOURCES: Allegheny Power; BGE; Columbia Gas; Delmarva Power; District Department of the Environment; James City Water Service; Maryland Energy Administration; Pepco; SMECO; Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; Virginia Natural Gas; Washington Gas Company. CREDITS: Sisi Wei - The Washington Post, April 15, 2010.

© The Washington Post Company