0

Appliance rebate program begins soon

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Georgia's ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate Program is set to begin on Feb. 12, according to Shane Hix, a spokesman for the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), which is administering the program.

Informational guides, which provide details to consumers and retailers about eligible products and how to claim a rebate, have been posted on the GeorgiaRebate.com web site.

Hix said the program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is intended to help consumers save energy, and save money on their utility bills.

Hix said those who claim rebates on refrigerators and freezer will be required to recycle their old appliances and are encouraged to recycle other used appliances. Recycling arrangements may be coordinated with the retailer of the new appliance, or by visiting www.YouGottaBeKidding.org.

The rebates range from $25 to $199, Hix said, depending on the appliance.

Hix said the state of Georgia has $8.6 million available for the rebates, and that the program will end when the funds are depleted. Consumers will be able to check the amount of funds available beginning Feb. 12 by visiting www.GeorgiaRebate.com or by calling 1-866-296-1633.

"The web site and phone number will provide a current estimate on the funds remaining in the program and the approximate number of days until funding is depleted," Hix said in a statement. "The rebates will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis until funding is depleted."

The program is limited to one rebate per appliance type, per household, up to $1,200 per household.

Hix said the ENERGY STAR-rated appliances eligible for the program include clothes washers, dishwashers, air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators and freezers.

Once consumers purchase a rebate-eligible appliance, they should visit www.GeorgiaRebate.com or call 1-866-296-1633 to apply for the rebate, Hix said. When the application process is completed, consumers will receive a rebate form through the web site, or by U.S. mail if applying by phone.

Individuals will then mail their rebate form, along with a copy of their sales receipt, to the address provided on the form, he added. Appliances must be purchased in Georgia to qualify for the rebate.

"Online and out-of-state purchases do not qualify," said Hix.

Within two to three weeks, consumers will receive their rebates in the form of prepaid Visa cards, he said.