Missouri to offer rebates for energy-efficient appliances

Friday, December 4, 2009 | 4:00 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — If you are thinking about buying an appliance this Christmas season, it might be wise to hold off a few months.

In the first four months of 2010, the Department of Natural Resources will begin offering rebates for purchases on certain Energy Star appliances as part of the federal stimulus package.

The Department of Resources’ Energy Center has filed an application outlining potential rebates with the U.S. Department of Energy. The dollar amounts have yet to be approved, but are tentatively assigned at:

  • $75 for appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers
  • $150 for gas-condensing water heaters
  • $150 for electric heat pumps
  • $100 for high-efficiency gas storage water pumps
  • $500 for solar water heaters with either electric or gas back-ups

Gas furnaces, other water heaters, air-source heat pumps and central air units will also be eligible for rebates, but no amount has been set. All must be Energy Star approved products.

But beware — some retailers' sites advertise appliances as eligible for rebates, but eligibility is determined on a state-by-state basis. Freezers, room conditioners and refrigerators, despite being listed as eligible on the federal Web site and most retail sites, do not qualify in Missouri.

Kay Johannpeter, who works at the Energy Center, said in an e-mail that the department chose to include clothes and dishwashers because they are more frequently replaced. In addition, there are existing utility rebates for clothes and dishwashers that can further entice consumers, she said.

The Department of Energy has begun allocating $300 million of federal stimulus money to states in a countrywide effort to make homes more energy efficient. Missouri requested $5.6 million in order to fund these rebates.

There is no time table for how long the program will last, but the state will not honor rebates for purchases made before the program starts.

According to the Energy Star Web site, the use of appliances that are Energy Star certified can cut utility bills by as much as one-third.

The rebates will likely be redeemable by mail, but the process hasn't been finalized. More information about the program can be found on the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Web site.

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