Newest Green Stimulus Program: Cash for . . . Refrigerators?


Photo via Open Alarm

Okay, so it's name isn't quite as memorable, and it'll work a bit differently than the controversial Cash for Clunkers--but the latest green stimulus program to emerge will still give consumers rebates for buying energy efficient stuff. Namely, home appliances. It could help jumpstart the flagging appliances industry while getting cleaner, energy-saving appliances into American homes across the country. Here's how it'll work.Planned for this fall, the Obama administration is launching a program will allot $300 million dollars to states to provide incentives for residents to buy Energy Star-approved goods like washing machines, refrigerators, and other appliances. Consumers will be eligible for a $50-200 rebate when they purchase the high efficiency items.

And the US could use a large scale shift towards more energy efficient appliances--as of 2008, only 55% of new appliances are Energy Star approved, which means plenty of consumer choice for those who are in the market for new home appliances (and who wouldn't otherwise buy one in the recession without a rebate).

According to Business Week, the appliance industry is in dire need of such a shot in the arm. It reports:

The money can't come soon enough for the home appliance industry, which is mired in an unprecedented sales slump that began when the housing market cooled in 2006. Since then that slump has worsened considerably. Shipments of washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ovens dropped 10% in 2008 and are down 15% through July, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
Unlike Cash for Clunkers, the program will not require that participants scrap their old appliances to be eligible. Sounds like a decent outline thus far, and much of the program's details are left up to the states who can tailor the program to suit its needs, so as long as the devices eligible for rebates are Energy Star approved.

Now all the thing needs is a sexier name to captivate American consumers--can anyone think of any synonyms for 'appliances' that starts with a 'c'?

More on Green Stimulus
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Guide to the Green Projects in Obama's Economic Stimulus Bill

Tags: Barack Obama | Economics | Energy Efficiency | Green Jobs